May 2007 marks the 10th Anniversary of the College of Graduate Nursing

(CGN) at Western University of Health Sciences.

“”The College has had many impressive firsts in its short ten year

history,”” said Karen Hanford, EdD (c), MSN, FNP, dean for the

college. “”Some of these include being among the first web-based advanced

practice programs in the United States; launching the first master’s

entry program to prepare Registered Nurses (RNs) in Southern California; and attaining a ten year re-accreditation with the professional nursing organization the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which is the premier accrediting body for graduate level nursing programs in the United States.””

“”It has been one of the most exciting professional experiences of my life

to have been a part of the design team that brought the College of

Graduate Nursing to WesternU and to have been among the first colleges in

the country to design and actuate an entirely web-based program of study

for Graduate Nurses and Family Nurse Practitioners,”” says Diana Lithgow,

PhD, FNP, assistant dean, Distance Education for CGN.

In addition to the College’s notable history, planning is underway for

CGN to begin the first Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in California.

“”The dedication of faculty and staff has created the foundation for the

College and its future,”” said Dean Hanford. “”Being a college within a

private university is an ideal place to be in higher education, as the

environment provides the opportunity to be progressive and a leader in

the nursing profession. The acute need for nurses with advanced degrees

will continue to be the College’s niche, and distinguishes CGN and

WesternU from others institutions.””

On May 5, 2007, CGN will celebrate a decade of nursing excellence and

honor students, alumni, faculty, and our clinical colleagues by hosting a

scholarly event. This event will also include the inaugural induction of

the College of Graduate Nursing Honor Society, which further demonstrates

the College’s commitment to nursing excellence and leadership. The Honor

Society is the first step in establishing a campus chapter of the most

prestigious honor society for nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International. CGN

is honored to have Dr. Carol Huston, president elect for Sigma Theta Tau

International, as the keynote speaker.

For over a decade, CGN has been a pioneer in the development of

innovative curriculum. To date, the cumulative number of graduates from

the College is 149, and 27 more will graduate this May.

A list of milestones and accomplishments for CGN include:

1997 – The College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) developed and launched the

first graduate on-line family nurse practitioner program (MSN/FNP) in the

nation. The curriculum was designed to meet the needs of working

professional nurses. The curricular delivery of 80% on-line and 20%

campus based (seminar weekends) meets the needs of nurses throughout the

state and beyond.

1998 – The College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) was established. External

validation of excellence was attained by gaining approval from the Board of Registered Nursing.

2004 – Responding to the acute nursing shortage CGN developed and began

the first Master’s Entry (MSN-E) program in Southern California. This

program is a fast track program for students with a baccalaureate degree

to obtain their RN license and then continue in one of three graduate


2005 – CGN began two new graduate tracks to expand program offerings for

the master’s entry students and BSN prepared nurses in our region. These

tracks include a Master of Science in Leadership and Management and a

Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader. These programs were

developed to prepare nurse leaders for the profession. The pass rate for

the first cohort of RN students for the national licensing exam was 92%.

The first cohort of students will graduate in 2007.

2006 – CGN underwent a re-accreditation review with CCNE and achieved the

highest review for a maximum of ten years. CGN relocated to a new

building which has been named the Nursing Science Center.

2007 – CGN will begin the first Doctorate of Nursing Practice program in