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Western University and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Collaborate on New Training Methods

by Rodney Tanaka

April 17, 2003

Read 2 mins

Pomona, CA. Students in nurse practitioner educational programs in

California may soon learn a more effective breast exam technique in the

classroom thanks to a grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer

Foundation to the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University of

Health Sciences.

“”Nurse practitioners must be able to conduct an accurate and adequate

breast exam. The skills they learn through training in the Clinical

Breast Exam (CBE) could have a profound impact on the health of the

thousands of women they care for during their careers,”” said Peggy

Rowberg, MS, ANP-C, Academic Coordinator and assistant professor at the


Nurse Practitioners (NPs) have advanced skills and knowledge in performing

physical and psychological patient assessments. They may have their own

practices, order diagnostic exams, prescribe medication, and provide

patient education.

According to Rowberg, the $79,000 grant will help fund her efforts to

incorporate CBE training into the curricula of nurse practitioner

programs. “”Incorporating the CBE course into health care professional

education is an unmet goal of the Professional Education Unit, Cancer

Detection Section for the State of California Department of Health

Services,”” Rowberg said. The State’s Professional Education Unit, the

developer of the CBE course, believes it should be taught in all health

care educational programs. The Komen Foundation is “”very excited about

this grant and the work that will be accomplished in our continued efforts

to moving ever closer to fulfilling the mission of the Komen Foundation –

to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease.””

Rowberg has established an advisory board made up of nursing and breast

health educators with the goal of implementing a pilot CBE education

project in five NP programs in California by December. “”The goal is to see

the CBE course incorporated into all NP programs nationwide,”” she said.

Western University’s College of Graduate Nursing offers advanced practice

nursing degrees and/or certificates in a Web-based curriculum, which

combines on-line learning with on-site seminar sessions. This allows

working nurses the opportunity to continue their employment as they pursue

a graduate education. Program tracks include a Master of Science in

Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner degree/certificate combination

(MSN/FNP), a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN), and a Post-

Master’s FNP Certificate.

For more information on the project, contact Rowberg at (909) 469-5518 or

via e-mail at


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