Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing Western University of Health Sciences
College of Graduate Nursing

Outreach & Events

Announcements & Events

CGN Awarded Accreditation for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

The College of Graduate Nursing is pleased to announce the official notification from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) awarding the WesternU CGN Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program accreditation effective September 11, 2011.

CGN Awarded Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development Grant

In January 2014, the College of Graduate Nursing received an Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development grant totaling $182,000. These funds are intended to develop community clinical partnerships and relationships and to develop training sites for students enrolled in the FNP Program in areas of state designated health professional shortage areas and areas of unmet need. Additionally, part of the grant funds are intended for student scholarships for those graduates intending to work in these same areas of healthcare need. The funding is for the 2014-15 academic year.

Awarded National Faculty Loan Repayment Program Grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Graduate Nursing $256,526 for the National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). This is the fourth year that HRSA has provided support to the College of Graduate Nursing. Funds from this award will be used to prepare nurse educators enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

“California will truly benefit from this award,” said College of Graduate Nursing Founding Dean Karen Hanford, EdD, RN, FNP. “These funds directly increase the number of faculty educated at the doctoral level, and help to alleviate the faculty shortage experienced by many schools and colleges of nursing within the state. An insufficient number of qualified faculty is consistently one of the leading reasons that schools and colleges turn away students.”

Added Rod Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, WesternU’s Assistant Director for the DNP Program: “These funds are used by students to offset the cost of higher education. For students to qualify for federal support, they must agree to teach for at least four years after completion of the program. This generous support from HRSA demonstrates its commitment to assuring that our nursing workforce is sufficient to meet health care needs. NFLP participants are eligible to retire up to 85 percent of the award through teaching in accredited schools of nursing. Without support such as the NFLP, many nurses would not be able to obtain a doctorate in nursing practice.”

The College of Graduate Nursing offers masters and doctoral degrees in nursing, and has more than 400 students. The College was the first to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Southern California, and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students seeking the DNP degree can complete the program within two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.

“Educating doctorally-prepared nurses is an important part of WesternU’s commitment to train the health care workers of tomorrow,” said WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “Our high-quality DNP program is developing future nursing leaders who will play a key role in meeting ever-increasing health care demands.”

CGN Awarded Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Grant

The College of Graduate Nursing is proud to announce that we are recipients of $1,056,000 through the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. The grant will increase the likelihood of students maintaining full-time status, thus accelerating their graduation. This grant will increase the number of Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) in the workforce who focus on the needs of vulnerable populations in California and beyond. For more information about this grant, please visit the About the Family NP Program web page.


Updates in the College of Graduate Nursing Simulation Center

Several new and exciting additions have been made in the College of Graduate Nursing Simulation Center over the last year. The aim of each addition is to increase the fidelity or “realism” of the exercises experienced by the students. The addition of these new devices will assist with the development of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to ensure quality and safety of the healthcare systems in which our graduates will work.

The first additions to the Simulation Center were directed towards safe and effective administration of medications. An automated medication administration system requiring a two-step patient identification and medication confirmation process was installed in October of 2013 and brought on-line for student use Spring Semester 2014. In addition to the unit-dose medication dispensing system, the Alaris 8000 Medley® “smart” IV pumps with pre-programmed IV medication and infusion calculations were integrated into the skills lab. Each of these devices is used extensively in the clinical areas and has been shown to add an extra layer of safety, reducing the incidence of medication-related errors.

Changes in the physical simulation space have occurred with the inclusion of a high-fidelity patient simulation suite. This “life-like” patient care area allows the student to be completely immersed in the patient care process. Installation of a new AV system has provided faculty with the ability to control the condition of the patient simulator and sequence of clinical events from inside an adjacent control room. A 60-inch monitor placed in the central instruction area allows the students not involved in the scenario the ability to view patient care and team interactions occurring in the patient room. Overhead microphone and speaker systems augment the realism by replicating alarms and announcements experienced in the hospital environment as well as a dedicated telephone line to communicate with “healthcare providers” and signal the need for assistance such as calling a “code blue” or “rapid response team”.

The purchase of a new Zoll® Biphasic Defibrillator / External Pacemaker device has expanded the opportunities to educate students in the care of patients with cardiac dysrhythmias as well as those suffering from cardiac arrest. The defibrillator unit is compatible with the high-fidelity I-Stan Human Simulators using very low voltage and a “hands-free” cable connection. This addition allows students the opportunity to practice this low frequency/high risk skill before encountering in the clinical area.

In order to streamline the ordering of supplies necessary for the day to day operation of the skills and simulation lab, a new electronic bar-coding inventory control system is scheduled to begin use in May 2014. This system will allow for earlier notification when supplies are in need of re-order and for easier check-out of equipment utilized in community projects, and the tracking of warranty data related to our high fidelity equipment.

This is an exciting time in the Nursing Simulation Center with more improvements planned for 2015-2016. These improvements include the replacement of the current birthing simulator, the addition of two multisystem adult skills training patient simulators, and the addition of a simulated Electronic Health Record (EHR). The response to the changes has been overwhelmingly positive thus far – stay tuned!

Community Outreach

Local American Assembly of Men in Nursing (AAMN) Chapter Approved

The American Assembly of Men (AAMN) is a national organization that provides structure for nurses to meet and discuss factors that influence men in nursing. The primary objectives for AAMN are to encourage men to become nurses and join together with all nurses in strengthening and humanizing health care, to support male nurses and student nurses to grow professionaly and increase their contributions in nursing, and to advocate mens’ health issues at the local and national level.

Kyle Martin and Anthony Ngo, first year Master of Science in Nursing (MSN-E) students, have engaged in strategic planning for requesting a local chapter of the AAMN for the College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) here at WesternU with Rod Hicks, PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, Professor and Assistant Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, serving as faculty advisor. Recently, the AAMN Board of Directors met and approved the chapter request and the Chapter was formally recognized at the October national meeting. The local AAMN chapter will welcome any CGN student at WesternU, as well as other individuals with interests in increasing the number of men who seek nursing as a profession or wish to improve men’s health.

Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Phi Alpha Chapter

Western University of Health Sciences, College of Graduate Nursing’s STTI Phi Alpha Chapter chartered on May 15, 2009. The vision of STTI is to create a global community of nurses who lead in using knowledge, scholarship, service and learning to improve the health of the world’s people. Founded in 1922 by six nurses, Sigma Theta Tau was chosen from the Greek words Storgé, Tharsos and Timé meaning “love”, “courage” and “honor” – the enduring values that are at the root of the nursing profession. Over the course of the organization’s history, the commitment to knowledge, learning and service has guided the society in achieving many milestones and firsts in the nursing profession. This includes the first nursing research grant, first scholarly nursing journal with the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, first philanthropic campaign resulting in the Center of Nursing Scholarship, first electronic library of nursing research and knowledge, first knowledge synthesis and international peer-reviewed Evidence Based Practice journal, and first to embrace membership and chapters outside of the United States.

Student membership is based upon academic achievement (3.5 minimum GPA) and program progression. An invitation to join is extended from the chapters to students meeting the criteria. Nurses who are not students may become community members, whom are required to provide letters of recommendation from at least two active members. Clearly membership is an esteemed honor! For more information about WesternU’s Phi Alpha Chapter, please email nursing@westernu.edu.


CGN graduates are invited to stay in touch and get involved with their alma mater by visiting the Alumni area on our Web site.

Employment Opportunities

Alumni seeking nursing positions are encouraged to visit the Alumni Career Resources Center. Additional job postings may be found on the Nursing Employment Opportunities page powered by www.AfterCollege.com.