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