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Centers, Institutes, & Initiatives

The School of Nursing is home to several centers, institutes, and initiatives. These are designed to contribute to and further the mission, vision, and values of the school. The below descriptions highlight a few of these entities. A full listing can be found at

Center for Nursing Discovery

Using a student-centered approach, the Center for Nursing Discovery (CND) provides a variety of avenues of instructional methodology, including simulation using high fidelity (lifelike) adult and pediatric manikins, role-playing, self-instruction, faculty-assisted instruction, procedural task trainers to develop specific hands-on skills, standardized patients (trained actors), and the use of innovative, state-of-the-art multimedia. Students can select various learning methods based on their individual learning styles to broaden assessment, communication, psychomotor, and cognitive skills within a safe environment. Practice in the CND, along with their clinical experiences, helps students move toward development of their evidence-based nursing practice, achieving the ultimate goal of becoming clinical leaders in providing safe, effective, and excellent patient care.

The spacious CND facilities support learning by providing simulated experiences in nursing practice and decision making for students in the Duke University School of Nursing Accelerated BSN and MSN Programs and for nurse anesthesia students as well as the master’s and post-graduate certificate students who come to campus one or more times a semester for intensive on campus sessions. The CND facilities are available to support interdisciplinary team training with Duke medical, physical therapy, and physician assistant students and for local health system and community groups for simulation and training activities and events.

In 2021, CND received a five-year reaccreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs in the area of Teaching/Education. The CND received its first accreditation in 2017. DUSON is the only nursing school in North Carolina and one of three nursing schools in the United States to have received this accreditation.

Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives

The Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives (OGACHI) is committed to addressing health disparities locally and globally through education, research, and service. The office serves as a catalyst to improve health outcomes by facilitating, monitoring, and managing the development of local, regional, and international activities for the School of Nursing. Established in 2006, the OGACHI supports and promotes collaborative partnerships and interdisciplinary linkages across campus and beyond as a means to respond to disparate health outcomes worldwide. Services include consultation, faculty exchanges and visiting scholars programs, academic training, research, and global clinical immersion experiences.

Local Activities. The DUSON Community Health Improvement Partnership Program (D-CHIPP) is working to improve health outcomes through strategic partnerships and research to develop and support programs and policies that will promote a healthy productive life for all who live in our community. D-CHIPP was established in 2017 out of DUSON’s strategic plan, with the goal to advance health through community partnerships. ABSN students complete clinical placement experiences with a variety of community partners including the Durham Housing Authority, Urban Ministries of Durham, El Centro Hispano, and Families Moving Forward. Other opportunities that provide a more extensive experience in community health nursing include the Quality Improvement Scholars Program with Lincoln Community Health Center and the M-PACT Scholars program. D-CHIPP received funding from HRSA to create a mobile health clinic, M-PACT (Mobile Prevention and Care Team). In addition to the mobile health clinic, DUSON has created two new elective courses that address social drivers of health in rural and underserved urban communities. M-PACT Scholars taking the elective course have unique community health clinicals including a week-long immersion experience with a rural NC public health department. The Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives offers assistance to academic programs in community health activities. For example, in collaboration with the ABSN program, the OGACHI supports local site development and activities including community site orientations and service experiences within Durham County with a variety of established community partners.

Global Clinical Immersion Experience Clinical Placements. OGACHI facilitates global clinical immersion experiences. Through the global clinical immersion experiences, developed in collaboration with established partner sites, all levels of DUSON students have the opportunity to develop cross-cultural sensitivity while expanding their understanding of community needs and the roles and responsibilities of nurses while fulfilling some clinical residency and/or elective curriculum requirements. Program locations for global clinical immersion experiences vary from year to year. The cost of international clinical experiences is the responsibility of the student. The Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives supports students’ experiences by assisting with the planning and execution of logistics associated with global clinical immersion experiences and other nonclinical experiences abroad. It also offers pre-departure orientation sessions to prepare students for the trips. More detailed information regarding student global clinical immersion experiences is available on the OGACHI website.

Institute for Educational Excellence

The Institute for Educational Excellence (IEE) seeks to position the Duke University School of Nursing as a premier leader in nursing education innovation and excellence. Its mission, vision, and values reflect the importance in the higher education community regarding the formation of educators and scholars, the preparation of faculty for the teaching role, and the need for evidence-based teaching practices. The work of the institute also aligns closely with calls for a major re-visioning of health professions education that have been issued by national organizations such as the Institute of Medicine, the Pew Commission, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Future of Nursing report. Responsibilities of the institute include providing a comprehensive orientation for all new faculty (full-time, part-time, and clinical instructors); enhancing the pedagogical expertise of faculty; providing consultation regarding curriculum development, program evaluation, and teaching innovations; enhancing the effective integration of technology into teaching to help students meet learning goals; and fostering research in nursing education.

Under the auspices of the IEE, the school has received three NLN Center of Excellence designations: Enhancing Student Learning and Professional Development, 2015-2024; Promoting Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty, 2013-2027; and Advancing the Science of Nursing Education, 2017-2026.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) Collaboration within Duke Health

For many years, the School of Nursing and the Duke University Health System have sought opportunities to work collaboratively to prepare future health care providers. For example, the Schools of Nursing and Medicine have collaborated to offer interprofessional education opportunities to nursing, medical, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant students for their future roles as part of the health care teams of providers. This collaborative relationship was greatly enhanced in 2019 with the creation of the Duke Center for Interprofessional Education and Care (IPEC). This center has representation from all Duke health professions education schools and programs as well as from the broader Durham community. The IPEC Center’s mission is to encourage IPE programs for learners, teachers, clinicians, and staff across the health system. The IPEC Center assists with the evaluation and assessment of all program offerings with a focus on shared competencies, outcomes, and accreditations.

Additionally, DUSON has a formal academic-practice partnership with Duke University Health System Nursing, known as the Duke Advancement of Nursing, Center of Excellence (DANCE). This partnership is co-led by the SON Dean and the Chief Nurse Executive of DUHS. The vision of DANCE is to be the preeminent leader in academic-practice partnerships that fosters collaboration, synergy, and professional development of nurses throughout the education and career continuum. The mission of DANCE is to support and advance the professional development, knowledge, and skills of all nurses throughout DUSON and DUHS, as well as to serve as an exemplary model of how academic-practice partnerships empower the nursing profession to influence healthcare and education. DANCE jointly develops, implements, and supports mutually beneficial activities between DUSON and DUHS nursing to advance the nursing profession.