New School of Nursing and Health Professions Established

Two degree programs designed to prepare registered nurses for practice in a high-technology health care environment

IRVINE, Calif. (March 11, 2010) -Brandman University, a fully accredited adult university within the Chapman University System, today announced it has established a School of Nursing and Health Professions focusing on career advancement for working nurses, and will offer post-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Health Risk and Crisis Communication and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.   The University has named Renee P. McLeod, PhD, APRN, CPNP, dean of its new School of Nursing and Health Professions.

The 50-year-old adult education institution, recently renamed Brandman University, is introducing its School of Nursing and Health Professions at a critical time for the U.S. health care system.  The nation’s rising nursing shortage has become especially acute among specialties requiring advanced practice designation, such as adult critical care, pediatric and neonatal acute care and psychiatric care.  In addition, a growing body of research clearly links advanced educational preparation to improved health outcomes.

Against this backdrop, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has changed the level of preparation necessary for advanced nursing practice, from a master's degree to a clinical doctorate beginning in 2015. Today, less than 1 percent of the three million nurses in the United States have a doctoral degree, according to the Division of Nursing of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Brandman University will begin preparing nurses for the future with its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.

Brandman's School of Nursing and Health Professions will prepare nurses to access and evaluate evidence, and implement care based on best practices in a health care environment characterized by constant innovation.   The Curriculum will focus on patient-centered, inquiry-based, collaborative and innovative practice to equip nurses to lead in today’s high-technology health care environment.

Coursework blends periodic immersion sessions and on-site clinical practice with online lectures, demonstrations, exercises and social networking. During immersion sessions nurses will learn advanced information technology skills, engage in communication and teamwork exercises and practice clinical skills in a state-of-the-art simulation center using standardized patients, computer-managed manikins and three-dimensional virtual reality.  This blend of teaching methods provides a rich and engaging learning experience for adult learners who want to move to the next stage of their professional careers.

“We’ve created a substantially different advanced nursing practice school and attracted the nation’s leading educators to develop our nursing curriculum,” said Brandman University Chancellor Gary Brahm.  “As with all of our degree programs, Brandman’s accreditation, personalized service, flexible schedules for working adults and high graduation rates are key benefits for nursing degree candidates."

Brandman’s School of Nursing and Health Professions is led by Dr. McLeod, who has more than 30 years of experience in clinical nursing practice and education, specializing in the integration of the best scientific evidence and innovative technology with patient-centered care.

“The practice of nursing has changed dramatically, particularly in recent years as technology now drives how health care professionals find and track data and communicate with one another -- nursing education must respond to these changes," Dr. McLeod said.  "Our curriculum is unique in its approach to critical thinking and analysis as key success factors, as well as in the 360-degree structure of the curriculum blending classroom, online, simulation and clinical practice. These are the critical components that will prepare nurses to succeed as the health care leaders of tomorrow.”

Classes for the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will begin August 2010 and applications for priority admission into the inaugural classes are being accepted now through May 14, 2010.  The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is offered for RNs with bachelor’s or master’s degrees.  Pending approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, classes will begin in August 2010 for RNs with a master’s degree, and in January 2011 for RNs with a bachelor’s degree.   The BSN to DNP program will be offered in five specialties – adult acute care nurse practitioner; pediatric acute care nurse practitioner; neonatal nurse practitioner; family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and gerontological nurse practitioner.  The Brandman School of Nursing and Health Professions will also include two already existing degree programs; a Master of Health Administration (MHA) and a Master of Science in Health Risk and Crisis Communication.   The MHA degree’s curriculum integrates theory and application, combining both technical and communication skills to prepare students effectively lead and manage integrated delivery systems, while the Master of Science in Health Risk and Crisis Communication focuses on communications that impact health behaviors and reduce disparities while limiting exposure and liability.

About Brandman University
Brandman University, formerly Chapman University College, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and focuses on meeting the unique needs of the more than 10,000 working students it serves both online and through 25 campuses in California and Washington. Brandman University is part of the Chapman University system and is known for providing students with degrees, credentials, certificates and professional development programs.

About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University (www.chapman.edu) is one of California’s oldest, most prestigious private universities and is home to over 4,000 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students at its home campus in Orange, California.

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About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers 50+ undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. Brandman serves an average of 12,000 students annually with programs available online and at over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington. The university’s online programs consistently rank among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. www.Brandman.edu.

For more information contact Steve Quis, director of Public Relations at squis@brandman.edu.