Summer 2009 - Vol IV Issue 1
What an interesting year it has been! Faced with the economic downturn and the softening of the nursing shortage, we had wondered if our enrollment might drop this year and if students might have difficulty staying in school. The university made a concerted effort to make sure that student financial aid would remain intact and we were fortunate that our enrollment has remained strong. Although the number of new graduate positions in area hospitals is lower than in the past, our graduates are getting jobs, one by one. Our practice partners tell us that USF nurses are their first choice when it comes to hiring!
Nursing student Lisa Nelson (right) models the original uniform of USF nursing students during a School of Nursing reception Homecoming weekend.
In spite of the unease in the economy, programming in the School of Nursing remains solid. In December we graduated our first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students, the very first program in the state. Another five DNP students completed their studies in May. The professional accomplishments of these men and women make us all look good and they are indeed proud USF graduates. Last summer the first cohort of nurses in the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program at San Francisco General Hospital graduated. They are now poised to pilot the CNL role at SFGH. Last fall we launched a cohort CNL program at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto. Our original master’s entry option program will graduate its last group of students in December. The students in this program have always been effective in their clinical ability and have brought a sophistication to the master’s program—their contributions to the success of the school are not to be overlooked. It is due to the success of this degree option that we were able to quickly build the DNP program and bring specialty practice in health care systems leadership to the doctoral level.
Enrollments across all programs are at an all-time high—600 undergraduate and 248 graduate students. Because of the competition for appropriate clinical sites and the nature of many clinical settings, we received approval from the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide 50 percent of our pediatric clinical experience in our Simulation Center. Our experience with this is the pilot program for the state. Ongoing process and outcome evaluations indicate that student learning and mastery of content using this methodology meets or exceeds that for students in traditional clinical learning environments and the students report that their self-confidence in caring for ill children is superior. In addition, we have integrated simulated learning experiences across the curricula for every specialty area. We have developed a partnership with the USF performing arts department such that “standardized patients” provide focused learning opportunities in several areas of risk reduction and patient safety.
This year marked our BRN approval year. Our self-study was submitted in February and we hosted a successful visit in April, resulting in “no compliance concerns.” We expect notification of BRN approval for the full eight years to be forthcoming.
Last fall the SON Class of 1958 celebrated its 50th reunion. It was a wonderful event and those from the class that were able to attend had a wonderful chance to catch up with one another and see how the school has changed. The class of 1978 held its reunion this year, as well. It was terrific for the graduates to see one another as well as four faculty who taught them while in the nursing program. This fall, there will be a “decade” event for all those who graduated in the ’60s. This event should be great fun and I do hope those of you who graduated between 1960 and 1970 will join us. There will be more details in the very near future.
We are continually striving to keep our alumni connected to the school and keep track of their accomplishments. We would love to hear from you and request that you send us your updates—where you are working, what kind of work you are doing, your cell phone number, and a preferred email address. If you would send off a quick email with that information to my assistant Christina Tai at email@example.com we can be sure to get you added to our list. We are planning to hold some requirement outreach events at area hospitals with a focus of recruiting for our MSN and DNP programs. We will let you know when we will be in your neighborhood and I hope you will stop by when we are there!
I love to meet with USF alumni, I love showing graduates around the school, and I love keeping the connection from one generation to the next. When you are in the city, please stop by to see us. Let me know when you will be here and we will be able to arrange a VIP tour and create an opportunity to meet some of our current students. I hope to see you on the Hilltop soon!
Dean, School of Nursing
50% Simulation Pilot Program
Partnership with Vietnam Nursing School
CNL Program Offered at VA Hospital in Palo Alto
First DNP Graduates Put Degree to Work
Student Actors Play Standardized Patients for Nursing School
Nursing Faculty Recognized for Excellence