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Ohio University Southern Campus’ Pennington named one of RHE Outstanding Professors

Greenup resident and Ohio University Southern Associate Professor of Nursing, Nicole Pennington, D.N.P. was one of two named as Outstanding Professor in Regional Higher Education for the 2011-12 academic year.

Pennington has continuously demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service.

In the spring of 2011, Pennington completed a doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She began teaching at Ohio University Southern in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Nursing. Since 2007, Nicole has served as the Associate Director for the Center for or the Ohio University Southern Nursing Program.

Last May, she was instrumental in presenting a proposal for the traditional BSN program to the Ohio Board of Nursing, resulting in the expansion of the nursing program at the Southern campus.

In addition to scholarly contributions, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations in her area of expertise at the state, regional, and national level, she has incorporated innovative teaching practices such as YouTube video clips that relate to course content, Podcasting which enables students to listen to lecture content through their iPod devices, computerized testing, and IClicker technology which presents immediate feedback allowing her to focus instruction on areas of student weaknesses.

“I always make it a priority to create a positive culture for students to learn and one in that they feel supported,” said Pennington. “The use of technology allows me to have more interaction between my students.”

In addition to teaching in the Southern ADN program, Pennington also teaches in the RN to BSN program and the MSN program in Athens. She recently completed a book chapter on leadership in a school nursing administration textbook scheduled for publication this fall.

In preparation for the School of Nursing to move the MSN program to an on-line format, she re-wrote the MSN Teaching Strategies course, which she will be teaching in both the online and blended format.

To better prepare students for the clinical setting, Pennington added birthing and pediatric simulators to teach basic maternity and newborn clinical skills and essential pediatric skills. So students could take their exams the same way that state boards are administered, Pennington implemented computerized testing using Blackboard. Students gained valuable experience and national board scores increased by 7 percent for the first year of testing, and another 10 percent the second year.

As Associate Director, the Nursing Program has expanded from one nursing lab with minimal high-fidelity simulation to two fully functional nursing labs with high fidelity simulation. The national board pass rate for our graduates has increased from 72 percent to 97 percent. “My focus right now is on the implementation of the new BSN program and getting faculty prepared for the transition,” said Pennington.“

Ohio University Southern Dean Bill Willan is very proud of Pennington’s accomplishments.

“Nicole’s commitment to excellence comes through in everything she does. This well-deserved recognition by her colleagues on Ohio University’s five regional campuses just confirms what Southern Campus faculty and staff know — she is truly an outstanding professor and a role model for the rest of us.”