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Loyola DNP professors honored as leaders in Louisiana nursing industry

Loyola press release - March 19, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing professors Laurie Anne Ferguson, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-C. and Gwen George, R.N., D.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C. were recognized as leaders in the field of nursing by the Louisiana State Nurses Association. Ferguson was named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year and George was named Nursing School Administrator of the Year as a part of the Louisiana Nurses Foundation Nightingale Awards.

Ferguson not only teaches in Loyola’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP program, and the online masters program for nurse practitioners, she works clinically as a family nurse practitioner. She sees patients of all ages at Varnado Family Practice in Greensburg located in Louisiana’s St. Helena Parish, a designated health provider shortage area. Ferguson is also an integral part of a five-year, innovative colorectal cancer study funded by a $1.3 million grant from the American Cancer Society.

"I have practiced as a nurse practitioner for over 25 years in predominantly rural and underserved populations, before nurse practitioners were accepted or popular,” Ferguson said. “I love taking care of patients of all ages. Teaching keeps me current and on my toes as students demand clinical relevance. Students and patients make me a better nurse practitioner."

George received the Nursing School Administrator of the Year honor for her work with Loyola’s Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP, online program. George has coordinated the program—the first DNP program for nurses in the state—since it began in 2010. She is also the project director for the U.S. Public Health Service, Health Resources and Services Administration three-year grant to create and sustain the DNP program for post-masters-to-DNP students at Loyola.

Loyola’s DNP program is now ranked among the top six online graduate nursing programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

“I am excited to have had the opportunity to be what I believe is a part of nursing history in Louisiana. Before the development of Loyola's DNP program, students had to leave the state to receive this practice doctorate degree. I am honored to be a part of this and to represent Loyola,” George said.

“(Their) selection creates a legacy of honor for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and academic partners—all of whom desire to bring the best in class to our work,” said Ann H. Cary, Ph.D., M.P.H, R.N., professor and director of the Loyola School of Nursing.

The Nightingale Awards are presented at an annual gala to recognize the achievements of nurses across the state in a variety of categories. Nominations were made by their colleagues and sent to a nationwide panel of 12 judges outside Louisiana for a blind review process.

About Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing:

The Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing offers online degrees for RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, MSN in HCSM, and the Post BS-to-DNP and Post Masters-to-DNP. Loyola’s nursing program is based on Jesuit values and educates professional nurses to lead change and translate science into practice in a dynamic global health care environment. Loyola’s School of Nursing is consistently ranked by both U.S. News and World Report and thebestcolleges.org as one of the premier nursing schools in the country. The online graduate nursing programs at Loyola—the Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice—are ranked in the top six graduate nursing online programs in the U.S. by the U.S. News & World Report 2013 rankings. For more information about the nursing online programs, including application requirements, visit the Loyola School of Nursing website.