VCU’s Dr. Nancy Langston Named Board Chair of National League for Nursing Foundation
Former NLN President Helped Create Foundation
The National League For Nursing (NLN) Foundation for Nursing Education announced it has elected Nancy Langston, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, dean and professor of the VCU School of Nursing, to fill an open position on its board of trustees.
Dr. Langston returns to the board to serve as its chair, 10 years after she was founding chair of the NLN Foundation during her tenure as NLN president, from 1999-2001. According to its original mission statement, the NLN Foundation was created “to raise, steward and distribute funds that promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce.” In the ensuing decade, Dr. Langston’s commitment to the NLN and to the NLN Foundation remained strong.
“We have kept Nancy’s seat warm, and this is an ideal time for her to re-engage with the Foundation as it moves into a new phase of growth and productivity,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, who also serves as CEO of the NLN Foundation. “We are honored to have her rejoin the board in this leadership role.”
In an interview, Dr. Langston recalled the genesis of the NLN Foundation. It occurred during the late 1990s, at a time when the focus of research occurring in schools of nursing was almost exclusively on the clinical discipline and there were limited funds to support nursing education research. During a conversation that she, as NLN president, had with then-CEO Ruth Corcoran, “we realized,” she related, “that there was no national organization that funded nursing education research, a significant focus of the NLN. We asked ourselves, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create a corollary to the National Institutes of Health, which funds clinical research, for the purpose of supporting nursing education research, building the science of how we educate future nurses?'”
The NLN Foundation has since broadened its scope to support other ways the NLN promotes excellence in nursing education, including, for example, through faculty/leadership development programs. Now looking ahead to her second time around as NLN Foundation chair, Dr. Langston identified as her primary goal the expansion of the board to include leaders in business and the non-profit world who can help secure the NLN Foundation’s future as a sustainable foundation that does not rely on the NLN (its parent organization) for support. To achieve that goal, she intends to reach out to colleagues who may already have those critical connections. “I expect Beverly Malone to be a great partner in that regard,” Dr. Langston said.
She also aims to raise the foundation’s visibility among the community of nurse educators, in particular encouraging those approaching retirement to “keep the NLN Foundation in the forefront of their minds as they consider their legacies.”
Dr. Langston has served as dean and professor at the VCU School of Nursing since 1991. As a result of her visionary leadership, the VCU School of Nursing is ranked in the top 25 nursing schools nationwide for research funded by the National Institutes of Health and is ranked among the top 10% of nursing graduate programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The school is also a national model for community engagement through its Community Nursing Organization.
In addition to her past NLN Foundation involvement, Dr. Langston has an extensive history of involvement in professional nursing organizations at local, state, regional and national levels. The recipient of numerous awards, including the 2007 Richard B. Caspari Award from the Richmond Chapter of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and the 2004 Outstanding Leadership Award from the National League for Nursing, Dr. Langston was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2001 and was awarded the Virginia Nurses Association’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Nancy Vance Award, in the fall of 2011.
Dr. Langston holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in nursing from Emory University and a doctorate in education from Georgia State University, with a focus on administration in higher education.