Concordia University Irvine Expands Nursing Program to Meet Demand

Concordia University Irvine Expands Nursing Program to Meet Demand

As demand for registered nurses continues to grow nationwide and in the state of California, Concordia University Irvine (CUI) has expanded their Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program to accommodate more students. The nursing program added 24 student spaces to its fall cohort, bringing the number of new students up from 40 to 64, and will add another 24 spaces to a new cohort beginning in the summer semester.

“The ability to enroll more qualified applicants allows Concordia University Irvine to replenish the pool of exceptional nurses who are retiring and leaving the profession.”

The accelerated program is designed for people who hold a bachelor’s degree, allowing them to earn another bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) in 11 to 18 months. Students are required to complete 765 hours in clinical settings and 127 units total are required for the ABSN degree, 75 of which can be transferred from a previous degree, including prerequisite work that has been completed at an accredited college or university.

A survey from UC San Francisco conducted in the fall of 2016 showed that 89 percent of California hospitals reported moderate demand or higher for registered nurses, a 48 percent increase from the same survey done in 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the RN workforce is expected to grow to 3.2 million in 2024, up from 2.7 million in 2014, a total increase of 16 percent.

The nursing program expansion at CUI will include adding new staff and classroom space at the Park Place campus in Irvine. CUI plans to add full-time and adjunct clinical faculty, two new classrooms, an additional clinical skills and simulation lab, and more conference rooms. CUI Assistant Dean and Director of the Nursing Program Cheryl Smythe-Padgham tells, “The ability to enroll more qualified applicants allows Concordia University Irvine to replenish the pool of exceptional nurses who are retiring and leaving the profession.”

To learn more about Concordia University Irvine’s plan to expand its Accelerated BSN program, visit here.

University of California San Francisco Names Catherine Gilliss New School of Nursing Dean

University of California San Francisco Names Catherine Gilliss New School of Nursing Dean

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has named Catherine L. Gilliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. Gilliss is a national leader in nursing who has served as dean at two top US universities and is a former member of the UCSF faculty.

Gilliss will also serve as associate vice chancellor for nursing affairs at UCSF. She is joining UCSF from Duke University where she served as dean of the School of Nursing from 2004-2014. From 2014-2015, Gilliss took a year of academic leave to serve as a fellow in the Stanford University Distinguished Careers Institute. Prior to her role at Duke, Gilliss also served as dean of the Yale University School of Nursing from 1998-2004.

Gilliss tells, “I am very honored to have been selected as dean for the UCSF School of Nursing. The school has played an important role in my professional life, and I hope to return some value to it for its earlier investment in me. I have maintained close working relationships with colleagues at UCSF and have always thought of San Francisco as my home. This is a dream come true for me.”

In her new role, Gilliss will be responsible for advancing UCSF’s commitment to combining research and scholarship with high quality clinical education at the graduate level, developing new ways to sustain the school’s growth, and leading the school in its commitment to diversity. She is set to assume her new position on September 25.

To learn more about Catherine Gilliss and the experience she brings to her new role as dean of the UCSF School of Nursing, visit here.

Cal State Fullerton School of Nursing Awarded $2 Million to Increase Workforce Diversity

Cal State Fullerton School of Nursing Awarded $2 Million to Increase Workforce Diversity

The California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) was recently awarded a $2 million, four-year grant to help further diversity initiatives in the School of Nursing. The award was one of 30 granted this year by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Resources and Services Administration Division of Nursing.

CSUF is seeking to address the social determinants that create challenges for disadvantaged and underrepresented nursing students through the School of Nursing’s new project titled “Enrichment Markers of Better Relationships, Academics and Cultural Enhancement” (EMBRACE). Stephanie Vaughn, professor and director of the School of Nursing, tells

“Ultimately, the grant is going to help us graduate professional nurses who understand cultural variances, exhibit cultural competency and value diversity in the workplace.”

The funding will go toward hiring a learning specialist and counselor for the School of Nursing, a comprehensive review of the admissions process, and cultural competence training for faculty and staff. $600,000 of the funding is also earmarked for student scholarships to be awarded over the next four years. CSUF’s School of Nursing aims to increase the number of underrepresented students, particularly Latinos, across its undergraduate and graduate programs by 20 percent.

To learn more about CSUF’s nursing programs and diversity initiatives, visit here.

Taking Nursing to the Streets

Taking Nursing to the Streets

In March 2016, Sutter Health and WellSpace Health started The Street Nurse Program. Funded by Sutter Health, the program is geared to meet the needs of an underserved population—those affected by homelessness—in Sacramento, California. To date, it has helped more than 200 people who have received access to on-site care, medical advice, disease management education, and wound care.

Amanda Buccina, RN, BSN, is the program’s sole nurse. While they are looking to expand the program, Buccina is making a huge difference in the meantime on her own. “I’m happy to be selected as the first nurse in this role. I was previously in a position managing Medicaid case management programs for a large managed care corporation,” explains Buccina. “When I saw the street nurse job description, it sounded like a great opportunity and one that aligned with my experiences. For the first time in a long time, I felt excited and inspired by a nursing role, so I knew that it was the right opportunity to pursue.”

According to Sutter Health, The Street Nurse Program provides a vital piece in the continuum of care, with programs and partners seamlessly working together to provide a whole health stability model for the most vulnerable among us.

“The Street Nurse Program is an effort to provide an access point into a traditionally very guarded population, enabling us to start linking the homeless to the services they desperately need,” says Buccina.

Oftentimes, those affected by homelessness won’t come to clinics. As Buccina says, “Working with this population, you have to be willing to meet people where they are.”

A great deal of her job involves building relationships. “I work to build trust and rapport with my clients so even if they don’t need me in that exact moment, we have a relationship and familiarity with one another. This comes in [handy] when clients do want and need support, like medical advice, an advocate at a doctor’s appointment, help getting into an alcohol or drug rehab program, or just general wound care,” explains Buccina. “Sometimes, honestly, they just want someone to listen to them–that there is somebody who is consistent and that they trust. If they know someone is invested in them, it makes it slightly more likely they will be invested in themselves.”

Buccina finds it touching when her clients let her into their lives. “They don’t have to let me into their world at all—and they do. It’s kind of like a window into their world. And if they trust me enough to help them,” she says, “it’s kind of a big deal.”

UCLA Nursing School Dean Recognized for Tobacco Free Nurses Project

UCLA Nursing School Dean Recognized for Tobacco Free Nurses Project

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has recognized Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, as an Edge Runner for her Tobacco Free Nurses Project on World No Tobacco Day 2017. Sarna’s co-collaborator Stella Aguinaga Bialous, associate professor at the UCSF School of Nursing, was also recognized for her contributions.

Their model is called Tobacco Free Nurses (TFN) and provides national and international tobacco cessation education to practicing nurse clinicians, tobacco control resources for patient care, smoking cessation support and assistance to nurses and nursing students, and methods to enhance nurse leadership and advocacy in promoting a tobacco free society. The tobacco free initiative also includes a pocket guide called Helping Smoker’s Quit – A Guide for Clinicians.

Academy President Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, commended the project on “Designing and implementing a project which reduces the use of tobacco, the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide, is a valuable and noteworthy achievement. Dr. Sarna and Dr. Bialous are commended for designing Tobacco Free Nurses for improving the health of those called to the nursing profession, as well as the patients for whom they care.”

AAN’s Raise the Voice Edge Runner initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that impact cost, improve quality, and influence policy. TFN has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their advocacy in tobacco control, especially among the healthcare and nursing communities. Over 6,000 nurses have participated in TFN educational and policy efforts in eight countries including the United States.

For more information about the Tobacco Free Nurses Project, visit

California State University Nursing Students Learn Through Clinical Rotations in Multiple Settings

California State University Nursing Students Learn Through Clinical Rotations in Multiple Settings

California State University (CSU) nursing students are enrolled at 19 campuses across the state, all of which put an emphasis on putting students out into their communities right from the get-go. Students learn through clinical rotations in a multitude of settings like hospitals, schools, and community health services, putting their coursework to immediate use outside the classroom while working towards their degrees.

Christine Mallon, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for academic programs, tells, “The CSU has more than 8,100 students enrolled in a total of 79 nursing programs, encompassing various specializations across bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.”

After rolling out Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU nursing programs began increasing student efficiency and ethnic diversity which is now at 54% according to Mallon. The university system has also been working to streamline its nursing programs, reducing the units required for a four-year bachelor’s degree and developing courses that fulfill multiple requirements.

CSU has also put a focus on implementing the latest nursing technology, allowing students to practice in state-of-the-art simulation labs and get hands-on experience using EKG, electronic thermometers, blood pressure and fetal monitors, and high-fidelity mannequins. Nursing students are also highly prepared to pass their National Council Licensure Examinations (NCLEX) with a first-time pass rate exceeding the national average of 87%.

To learn more about CSU’s nursing programs and use of early clinical rotations to increase student learning and efficiency, visit here.