Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
September 2012
The Health Sciences System (HSS) was established by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in 2006. Its purpose is to address Nevada's community health issues through a system-wide effort to integrate and expand the education of health professionals and to foster collaborative research in health and health care.  Through collaboration among the NSHE institutions and a broad range of external partners, the HSS intends to be a catalyst for improvement in the health and wellness of Nevada.  Visit us at:

Experts from NSHE Health Sciences Programs present to the Nevada's Legislative Committee on Health Care to help develop a plan to address Alzheimer's Disease


A panel of experts from multiple NSHE institutions recently presented to the Nevada's Legislative Committee on Health Care's Task Force to Develop a State Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.  The task force is comprised of representatives from the state legislature as well health care professionals from around Nevada.  Findings from the panel's work will be presented to the full Legislative Committee on Health Care and will be submitted in a report for recommendations for legislation in the upcoming session for the Nevada Legislature.


According to the Resolution creating the task force, the rapid rise of Alzheimer's disease between 2000 and 2010 "... is especially dramatic in Nevada, which has seen a 38 percent increase in its population of residents 65 years of age and older with Alzheimer's disease...and this population is expected to double between 2000 and 2025." 


Specifically, the task force was interested in knowing current education and training that NSHE provides involving dementia and Alzheimer's patients and/or caregivers, including services as part of clinics, internships, clinical rotations, etc.


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CSN students learn to wield deadly high energy X-Rays is in virtual reality 
CSN photo

Photo courtesy of Vertual Ltd. Two students use the Virtual Environmental Radiotherapy Training system. CSN will be one of a few colleges in the nation to house this new technology. 



Education is all about teachable moments.


Unfortunately most radiation therapy students do not have the luxury of learning from mistakes when using high-energy X-rays to treat cancer in real-world clinical settings.


College of Southern Nevada radiation therapy students will have the added advantage of practicing their skills first in the safety of virtual reality.


In November, the CSN Radiation Therapy Program will be one of seven higher education institutions in the nation to obtain a Virtual Environmental Radiotherapy Training system. Also known as VERT, the virtual program creates a three-dimensional setting where radiation therapy students treat a virtual patient with high energy x-rays ranging from 6 million to 18 million electron volts.


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UNLV Provides 100 Native Americans with Health Habits Training, College Resources

More than 100 Native American high school students will attend workshops at UNLV this year, providing Native American youth with skills for addressing life's obstacles in higher education and health.


The program, called DreamCatcher, kicks off this Saturday with about 30 students and parents from local tribes in grades 11 and 12. DreamCatcher includes sessions on physical activity such as dance, martial arts and weight lifting, combined with traditional college readiness sessions on financial aid, admissions and campus life.


"This project approaches wellness from a holistic viewpoint by incorporating cultural sensitivity to real life situations," said UNLV Community Health Science professor Carolee Dodge Francis. Francis also is Executive Director of the UNLV American Indian Research and Education Center. "By connecting Native students with a Native university network including resources that are reflective of their tribal background, the aim is to encourage take home skills that can be used immediately."



International nursing honor society charters NSC and UNLV as joint chapter: Zeta Kappa At-Large

Nevada State College (NSC) was honored to recently join the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to establish an at-large or joint institution chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) honor society.


The chapter name, Zeta Kappa, was given to the society by STTI during its original formation with the UNLV School of Nursing in 1981 and will now continue to be used for the UNLV/NSC chapter.   

"The nursing faculties at NSC and UNLV have always been very collaborative. NSC faculty and students have been actively participating in Zeta Kappa STTI events for the last five years," said Shirlee Snyder, dean of nursing at NSC. "The at-large STTI chapter is just another example of the mutual support between the institutions."


Click here to read more here 


School of Medicine holds 'scrubs' ceremony for Hug High's Health Science Academy

The University of Nevada School of Medicine held a welcoming ceremony on Sept. 6 for students participating in Hug High School's Health Science Academy.


The ceremony, in which high school students participating in the Health Science Academy received their medical "scrubs," marks the continuation of a 20-year educational partnership between the two schools.


The Health Science Academy at Hug High fosters a challenging learning environment allowing students to explore health careers, post-secondary education, volunteer work experience and internships while completing rigorous courses increasing college preparedness. Medical and health service and other related themes are integrated into the traditional high school curriculum with a focus on hands-on experiences facilitated by School of Medicine faculty and students.


The School of Medicine offers Health Science Academy students activities to learn more about health occupations including shadowing opportunities, tours of medical school facilities, a chance to further develop problem-solving skills and practice on "thinking like a doctor" through direct contact with medical students and faculty.




Health Sciences Spotlight-University of Nevada, Reno-Orvis School of Nursing 

Founded in 1956, the Orvis School of Nursing (OSN) is the oldest school of nursing in the state.  Our talented faculty accentuate the importance of community-based and community-focused nursing care through their expertise and involvement in teaching, research and service.


Our undergraduate curriculum has a strong emphasis on health promotion across the life span and the care of individuals and families in changing and challenging health care environments. Graduates of the undergraduate program receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, and are prepared for general nursing practice in a variety of health care settings. For students who are already licensed as registered nurses but whose educational preparation is at the diploma or associate degree level, the OSN also offers an online RN to BSN degree program. Students in the RN to BSN program complete all of their nursing courses online along with clinical experiences and projects in their home communities. A major hallmark of the Orvis School of Nursing is rigorous degree programs that are student-focused.  This is evident in our NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rate for first-time test-takers of over 97%, which we are proud to say that we accomplish with less than a 2% attrition rate from our entry-level BSN program.


To meet the increasing demands for advanced nursing practice in primary care settings, for clinical nursing leadership and for nurse educators, the Orvis School of Nursing offers graduate education leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a choice of three specialty tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nurse Educator. Post-master's certificates are also available for the FNP, CNL and Nurse Educator tracks for nurses who have already completed a master's degree in another specialty. National certification exam pass rates for graduates from both our Family Nurse Practitioner track and our Clinical Nurse Leader track are at 100%.  Our newest program at the Orvis School of Nursing is at the doctoral level where we prepare nurses with the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)* degree.  The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a post-master's terminal practice degree for advanced practice nurses and nursing leaders/executives in health care organizations. 

* The DNP program at the UNR Orvis School of Nursing, which began admitting students in August 2010, is a collaborative program with UNLV School of Nursing.



Did you know: 
The Nevada System of Higher Education has 150 distinct Health Sciences programs throughout eight institutions with an estimated total of 18,000 enrolled students.
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