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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790

CHAIR OF NURSING DEPARTMENT RECEIVES TOP HONOR AT AWARDS CEREMONY

Nursing Spectrum Recognizes Professor for Excellence in Teaching as Part of National Nurses Week Celebration

Allentown, PA (May 11, 2006) – Like so many Academy Award winners, Dr. Laurie Murray, RN, DSN, will tell you that she was just happy to be nominated. So when they called her name as a winner at the annual Nursing Spectrum Excellence Awards Gala in Philadelphia last night, feelings of gratitude and pride were quickly added to her happiness. Murray, who resides in Macungie, was one of five regional finalists in the teaching category selected from nominees in Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland who best exemplified significant contributions in education, professional development and/or long-term learning of nursing professionals.

Dr. Murray, who serves as chair and associate professor of Cedar Crest's nursing department, was nominated by the College's nursing faculty for the award. Regional finalists were selected based on submitted information about their professional roles, their contributions to the nursing profession in general and specific examples that demonstrate the candidates' excellence in a chosen category. Nominations were blinded and ranked by regional nursing leaders on the judging panel. In addition to the award, she will be featured with the other category winners on the cover of an upcoming issue of Nursing Spectrum and will join winners from nineteen other regions and be eligible to win Nursing Spectrum's national award in Chicago, IL this fall.

"It is a thrill to be nominated by my faculty colleagues and chosen by my peers for this award," says Murray. "Our department is a real team that works hard to develop an excellent program for our students. I'm not just winning for me, but for them as well."

Dr. Murray has been a nursing educator for twenty years and is finishing her ninth year as chair of the department at Cedar Crest College. During her tenure, the College's nursing program has seen a 300 percent increase in enrollment, the institution of more flexible scheduling options for students, the construction of the brand new state of the art Nursing Learning Resource Center, and two consecutive classes that achieved an unprecedented 100 percent pass rate on the national nursing board examination. She works with local hospitals to develop scholarship programs that help students with expenses and has initiated two international programs for nursing faculty in Ghana and Sweden. Dr. Murray was granted sabbatical for fall 2006 to research how to increase student success as they transition from traditional academic programs to nursing programs. Her efforts have elevated the nursing program exponentially and have made Cedar Crest students in demand and viewed as exemplary by local and national entities.

As a result of the program's growth, student demand and the shortage of nurses and nursing educators, Dr. Murray and the College are working on launching a new Master of Nursing Degree program for fall 2007.* The program will have two concentrations, in education and nursing administration, and will be designed to allow RNs to get their master's while working.

About Nursing Spectrum

Nursing Spectrum is an RN-led communications company whose mission is to enrich the professional lives of nurses and celebrate their unique contributions to society. Nursing Spectrum is the leading source of local and national nursing news, continuing education and career opportunities. Their magazines, websites, events, and other innovative products reach more than one million nurses and nursing students across the United States. Nursing Spectrum is an integral part of the nursing community and an influential voice within the profession.

For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.

*Pending final approval from the faculty and trustees.

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