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

Outreach & Events

Announcements & Events

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

Karen Hanford, Ed.D., R.N., FNP and Founding Dean for the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University of Health Sciences’, is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency Health Resources and Services Administration recently announced the 2014-2015 award for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). As a result of the announcement, the College will award $396,456 to doctoral nursing students that have the intent to become nurse educators. This award marks the sixth consecutive year that the College has obtained funds to defer the costs for doctoral students. “As stated by Dean Karen Hanford, schools of nursing are turning away qualified students. Faculty shortages are expected to exceed the current estimates of 1,358 vacancies in BSN and graduate schools and are expected to increase due to upcoming faculty retirements.”

“The NFLP program”, according to Rodney Hicks, Ph.D., R.N., FNP, FAANP, FAAN, Director of the DNP Program, “is the only dedicated source of federal funding that prepares future nurse educators. Doctorally prepared nurse educators are needed to fill the current faculty vacant positions across the many schools of nursing within California.” Hicks goes on to add, “the award provides loan forgiveness for up to 85% of the cost of doctoral education when nurses agree to teach for a minimum of four years in an accredited nursing school.”

Western University, a non-profit university, is the largest university dedicated to the preparation of future health care professionals. The College of Graduate Nursing, a nationally accredited nursing program, is one of the 9 colleges located on the Pomona campus that offers a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Graduate Programs.com recently ranked the College as number 10 of the top 25 nursing schools in the country.


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.