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News at Brookhaven College

For immediate release Oct. 24, 2005.

FARMERS BRANCH/DALLAS  •  The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc., site visit team members announced that they will recommend Brookhaven College’s Nursing Program for accreditation at the NLNAC’s next board of trustees meeting.

Elizabeth Wajdowicz, Ph.D., R.N., from St. Petersburg College, Fla., and Sheila Videbeck, Ph.D., R.N., from Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa, announced during a three-day site visit Oct. 18-20 that their findings were very positive. The NLNAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for all types of nursing education programs. Go to for more information.

The NLNAC process for the evaluation includes a self-study, site visit, peer evaluation review panel and a review of the process before the NLNAC Board of Commissioners makes a decision. Brookhaven College’s Nursing Program will be on the agenda Jan. 25-31, 2006 at the agency’s panel review in Chicago, with results to be announced at the NLNAC’s February board meeting.

Sue McLelland and Juanita Zapata Flint

Sue McLelland, associate dean
for nursing, and Juanita
Zapata Flint, executive dean,
Health and Human Services

“Earning the recommendation from the visiting team is another step in assuring students that Brookhaven College is about excellence and their success in a health career,” said Juanita Zapata Flint, M.S., R.N., F.N.P.-C., executive dean, Health and Human Services Division. “We started working to add this nursing program more than four years ago and the nursing staff, our students, the community and the college have been supportive throughout the process.”

Team members remarked on the entire college’s support of the Nursing Program. Three aspects of the program were commended in the team’s remarks: the three-day ‘Success Camp,’ an orientation for incoming nursing students; the students’ positive feedback about the program and their strong feeling of engagement with the college; and the strength and commitment of the program’s highly qualified faculty members led by Flint and Sue McLelland, associate dean for nursing.

Sharon Blackman, Ed.D.

Sharon D. Blackman
Brookhaven College

“Brookhaven College began its nursing program to help fill the critical need for nurses in our community,” said Sharon L. Blackman, Ed.D., president of Brookhaven College. “In Texas, professional registered nursing is the largest health care profession with nearly 148,000 RNs residing in the state and 77 percent employed in nursing practice. Accreditation from the NLNAC will show our students that we are offering a program that meets the highest standards for nursing education and show the community that our graduates are prepared to help address the need for qualified nurses,” Blackman said.

Federal projections are that RN employment opportunities are expected to grow faster through 2008 than the average for all other occupations. Registered nurse jobs represent the majority of hospital openings around the country, according to the American Hospital Association; about 75 percent of the 178,000 unfilled hospital positions nationally are for nurses.