ARLINGTON - The director of The University of Texas at Arlington's pediatric nurse practitioner program has been named a fellow in the National League for Nursing's Academy of Nursing Education. Judy LeFlore is an associate professor in UT Arlington's College of Nursing and a leader in the university's use of advanced technology to educate nurses.
The National League for Nursing is a New York-based nursing and healthcare education organization with 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. It started the Academy of Nursing Education in 2007. The academy has inducted 86 fellows since then.
To qualify, applicants must have made sustained and significant contributions to the field of nursing education. They serve as role models and leaders in their field.
"The National League for Nursing relies on these accomplished individuals as allies in our efforts to prepare the numbers of excellent nurse educators we need if we are to eliminate the shortage of nurses plaguing America's health care institutions," said Beverly A. Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing.
LeFlore is UT Arlington's director of pediatric, acute care pediatric and neonatal nurse practitioner programs. She holds a doctorate in nursing from Texas Woman's University. She joined the UT Arlington College of Nursing in 2003 after nearly 20 years as a practicing nurse and neonatal nurse practitioner.
LeFlore, who is also a nurse practitioner at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, called being named a fellow "a huge surprise."
"I am humbled and honored that my esteemed colleagues felt I was deserving of this appointment," she said.
LeFlore was the first graduate faculty member at UT Arlington's College of Nursing to use high-fidelity simulation and integrate it into her teaching. Since then, she has been a national leader in efforts to use simulation technology to better deliver care to patients.
Along with her UT Arlington colleagues, LeFlore used simulation technology in the University's Smart Hospital to develop a new strategy called "expert-modeled teaching." The method calls on experts in a particular field to model behavior for students while giving them detailed explanations rather than simply assessing students for errors.
UT Arlington's Smart Hospital is a 13,000-square-foot facility that allows students to learn using full-body, interactive patient simulators, actors, computer-based programs and individual task trainers for specific skills such as starting IVs.
LeFlore also has been heavily involved in the development of a detailed system that rates how teams of healthcare professionals interact. The rating system has been used in area hospitals to improve multidisciplinary communication, professionalism and use of resources.
"Simulation is a teaching strategy. It's not an end, it's a means to an end," LeFlore said. "We're hoping to establish best educational practices."
With the help of a state-funded Transforming Undergraduate Education grant, LeFlore is also working on a project to use specially designed video games to educate pediatric nursing students. In another project, sponsored by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, she is working with faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas to design a highly interactive, online textbook for advance practice students who will be neonatal nurse practitioners.
Her induction into the National League of Nursing's 2010 class of fellows follows recommendations from colleagues, including Pamela Jeffries, a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
Jeffries wrote: "She is a pioneer and leader in teaching/learning innovations, particularly in the use of simulation and technology ... She will be a stellar addition to the Academy of Nursing Education."
UT Arlington's College of Nursing is the 16th largest nursing program in the nation and has more than 4,100 students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. The College is ranked as one of nine "high performers" among the 97 Texas nursing education programs. More than 95 percent of graduates pass state licensure exams on their first attempt.
For more about UT Arlington's College of Nursing, please visit www.uta.edu/nursing.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.