Wednesday, May 22, 2024

FAU’s College of Nursing Celebrates 45 Years

In its first year, the nursing program at FAU had just four students.

This year, more than 1,200 nurses had their white coats pinned, joining the company of more than 10,000 alumni over the 45-year history of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

For Dean Safiya George, it’s easy to pick out an FAU College of Nursing graduate.

“You can tell the FAU difference,” she says. “The difference is how they interact with patients and families; how they communicate, how they prioritize things…not only are they smart but they’re also very compassionate.”

FAU’s College of Nursing was founded in 1979 as a program under the College of Social Sciences. Today, it is its own college and offers a bachelor’s, masters and doctorate in nursing. And as the interest in nursing only continues to grow, there’s also a program for students to become a nurse engineer, blending the two sciences to work with AI and biomedical engineering in healthcare.

Dean Safiya George addresses attendees of the FAU College of Nursing 45th Anniversary celebration. (Photo by Jeffrey Tholl)

In 2001, the college’s namesake, Christine Lynn, made a $10 million donation to FAU—however, her and her late husband’s support began in the ‘80s. The donation was matched by state funding in order to finally build a dedicated facility as well as funding academic programming. 

George says the college “loves her dearly.”

“We call her our wonder woman and we know there are others in the community who have referred to her as a wonder woman,” she says. “The motto is ‘Once a nurse, always a nurse.’ She gets the importance of prioritizing nursing and nursing education.”

During an anniversary celebration last month, guests were also able to wish Lynn an early happy birthday—the lauded community member celebrates her birthday on May 11.

Guests celebrate the 45th anniversary of the FAU College of Nursing. (Photo by Jeffrey Tholl)

Thanks to the support of Lynn and other major donors over the years, as well as a talented faculty, FAU’s nursing program has gained an international reputation of excellence. The school also includes the Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center, FAU/NCHA Community Health Center, and the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing.

George noted the six C’s of nursing: compassion, competence, confidence, conscience, commitment and comportment.

“Students really focus on what matters most to patients,” she says of the school’s caring-based approach to teaching. “Those who have a true calling to nursing really do pay attention to that authentic presence as well as being compassionate despite the long to-do list that a nurse has to engage in.”

Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly is the editor in chief of at Boca magazine, where she enjoys putting a spotlight on the Boca Raton and Palm Beach County community through both print and digital. Previously, she was the company's web editor. An award-winning journalist, she is the past president of the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter and a proud graduate of the University of Florida.

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