Western University of Health Sciences and the University of La Verne celebrated the beginning of a new partnership.

WesternU Provost and COO Gary M. Gugelchuk, PhD, ULV President Devorah Lieberman, PhD, ULV Vice Provost Homa Shabahang, PhD, and WesternU College of Graduate Nursing Dean Karen Hanford, EdD, MSN, FNP, signed a linkage agreement on Dec. 17, 2012 that will send qualified ULV students to the WesternU College of Graduate Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing – Entry (MSN-E) program.

“”When I first came to the university I met with President Pumerantz and it became apparent the two universities are in each others backyard,”” Lieberman said. “”There are ways to bridge us that have not existed before and there are ways to extend bridges that existed before and this is just one more example of how our universities are working together to benefit the students.””

ULV will nominate students for the program, typically in their junior year, and a College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) admission committee will interview the candidates. CGN will admit as many as three qualified applicants per year to the MSN-E linkage program. Additionally, other qualified students at the end of their ULV program may have an opportunity for an interview for the MSN-E program, thereby providing additional opportunities for ULV students.

Students admitted to the linkage program will be assigned a CGN faculty adviser, and they will have opportunities to visit the WesternU campus, participate in CGN activities, and network with nursing students.

The two universities are talking about expanding linkages to other programs, including the College of Allied Health Professions’ Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

“”By establishing this linkage, nursing will be the model,”” said Hanford.

ULV offers organizational leadership courses and graduate courses in health care administration, and there have been discussions of sharing adjunct faculty, Hanford said.

“”We see it as the beginning of a partnership,”” she said. “”I feel Devorah Lieberman is very progressive, very enthusiastic, and she is a collaborator. She’s quite a visionary for the University of La Verne.””

The linkage program will also serve as a model for CGN to create linkages with other local universities and community colleges.

The linkage program will allow ULV students to explore the nursing profession further, while discovering what CGN has to offer.

“”We have a strong, supportive culture,”” Hanford said. “”Our students are highly satisfied. The pass rate for the MSN-E program is 95 to 97 percent, while the national average is 85 percent. We have excellent clinical partnerships. Our students value the opportunities CGN provides for clinical training at many prestigious clinical agencies.

“”I think it’s a great opportunity for the students,”” she added. “”We hope it will be someone that lives locally, and it could lead to them providing services in local facilities and eventually becoming faculty for us in the long run, because they live locally.””