The University of Central Florida College of Nursing is pleased to announce that Kelly Allred has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing.

An assistant professor in the college’s baccalaureate program, Allred also serves as an adviser to Honors in the Major students, mentoring them on their undergraduate research projects. Allred holds a Ph.D. in nursing and is board certified in pain management. She is the principal investigator on a nursing study using interactive gaming and simulation as an educational intervention to improve pain assessment and management in patients. She has also studied acute pain management and the effectiveness of nursing interventions in the acute care clinical setting to manage pain, including nonpharmacologic interventions to enhance traditional pain management. Allred began her career with the university in 1995 as an adjunct nursing instructor on UCF’s Cocoa campus.

The NLN’s Academic Nurse Educator Certification (ANEC) Program has conferred new visibility and stature upon the academic nursing community, long overdue, said Dr. Beverly Malone, CEO of the NLN. “Through the certification program, we have made clear to the ranks of higher education that the role of nurse educator is an advanced professional practice discipline with a defined practice setting and demonstrable standards of excellence,” she commented. In years to come, she added, it is hoped that certified nurse educators will command higher salaries and be first in line for promotions and tenure.

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

• 29.2 percent hold doctoral degrees; the remainder master’s degrees

• 44.1 percent teach in baccalaureate or higher degree programs; 39.8 percent in associate degree programs; 9.6 percent in diploma programs; and 5.8 percent in practical nursing programs

• 55.6 percent hold the rank of assistant professor or higher: 12.6 percent are full professors; 17.7 percent, associate professors; and 25.3 percent, assistant professors

• 30.9 percent have more than 15 years of full time employment experience as academic nurse educators.

With nearly half (42.8 percent) of nurse faculty projected to retire within the next decade and nearly three-quarters (69.7 percent) within 15 years, replacing them is of grave concern, noted NLN president Dr. Elaine Tagliareni. “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. Only in this way can excellence in nursing education be ensured for another generation.”

In 2009, 502 nurse educators were awarded the CNE credential. Since the unveiling of the program in fall 2005 through December 31, 2009, 1,993 nurse educators representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have become CNEs.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing education, 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 28,000 individual and 1200 institutional members.

*Demographic data reflects those who took the examination 9/28/05 through 12/31/09.