CSU–Pueblo nursing faculty earn prestigious designation


Two Colorado State University-Pueblo nursing faculty members have earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing (NLN).
Assistant Professor JoAnn Crownover and Visiting Assistant Professor Nancy Whetzel have become two of only 12 nursing faculty in the state of Colorado to have achieved this national certification. The NLN unveiled the CNE program in 2005, with 174 passing the examination that first year. As of March 31, 2008, a total of 954 nurse educators, representing every state, have earned the CNE credential nationwide with an overall pass rate of 83 percent.

The newly certified nurse educators reflect the spectrum of their academic colleagues in the United States*:

• Thirty-three percent hold doctoral degrees; the remainder master’s degrees
• Forty-six percent teach in baccalaureate or higher degree programs; 40 percent in associate degree programs; 9 percent in diploma programs; and 5 percent in practical nursing programs
• Sixty percent hold the rank of assistant professor or higher: 17 percent are full professors; 20 percent, associate professors; and 23 percent, assistant professors
• Thirty-six percent have more than 15 years experience as academic nurse educators.

Nearly half (46 percent) of those certified are projected to retire within the next decade and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) within 15 years, which makes replacing them of grave concern.

“We must encourage more nurse faculty to prepare for certification as nurse educators so that our nursing schools can be staffed by academicians of the highest caliber,” said NLN President Dr. Elaine Tagliareni. “Only in this way can excellence in nursing education be ensured for another generation.”

Crownover joined the CSU-Pueblo nursing department in 2006. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Loretto Heights College in Denver and a master’s degree in nursing from Northern Arizona University. She has taught in a variety of nursing programs, including Adams State College, Trinidad State Junior College, and Northland Pioneer College in Arizona.

Whetzel came to the CSU-Pueblo nursing department in 2003 with past teaching experience at Labette Community College, Beth-El School of Nursing, and St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in technical teacher education from Pittsburg State University. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Nursing.

The National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 23,000 individual and 1100 institutional members.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.