Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
November 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:
NSC Nursing students gain clinical experience in Veterans Administration apprenticeship program

With the start of the fall semester at Nevada State College (NSC), six senior nursing students proudly began work within the Veterans Administration Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program offered by the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. The highly competitive clinical program allows accepted nursing students to complete up to 400 hours of classroom work and competency-based clinical practice under the supervision of a qualified registered nurse (RN) preceptor.


To apply, nursing students must have completed their junior year, have a 3.0 GPA, and submit reference letters from two faculty members and the dean of nursing. Candidates are then interviewed by a panel prior to being accepted into the program.   


"The VALOR program requires that students maintain their credit course load while providing opportunities for a paid clinical experience," said retired Air Force Lt Col Beverly Canfield, a current lecturer in the school of nursing. "The Veterans Administration (VA) is an organized healthcare system that provides a supportive environment for healthcare workers."


Click here to read more 



UNR C..A.S.A.T. receives alcohol screening grant 


The Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT), a unit of the University of Nevada Division of Health Sciences, is on the forefront of early detection of alcohol abuse, ranked as one of the nation's leading causes of chronic disease and mortality.  CASAT recently received additional help in its mission through a $384,760 two-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The grant funds a new alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) program at four University of Nevada School of Medicine clinics statewide.  


"CASAT is excited about the opportunity to work with
four of the University of Nevada Medical School's primary care clinics, including the Family Medicine Center, Student Outreach Clinic and Student Health Center in Reno and the Women's Healthcare Center in Las Vegas," said Nancy A. Roget, executive director of CASAT.  "By providing state-of-the-art training and education for clinic staff, as well as University of Nevada medical and nursing students,we are confident that the lessons learned from this project will help clinics everywhere adopt SBI as a routine primary care service," she added.

University of Nevada School of Medicine recognizes contributions of emergency medical services 

Officials from the University of Nevada School of Medicine recognized the contributions of Nevada's emergency medical services at a ceremony held at the Nevada Association of Counties 2012 Annual Conference in Carson City on Nov. 15.


Evan Klass, M.D., the School of Medicine's associate dean for statewide initiatives and Gerald Ackerman, director of the Nevada State Office of Rural Health, presented certificates to county representatives from each of Nevada's 17 counties and offered a video tribute to the state's EMS professionals.


"It is, in part, because of the volunteers, staff, medical directors, air and government services that Nevada, with its vast expanses and great natural beauty, is a wonderful and safe place to work and live," said Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. "The School of Medicine would like to thank you for your countless hours of service that you provide for the well-being of every Nevadan."


The School of Medicine has a long history of partnering with State of Nevada EMS professionals. The School provides online training, has sponsored the rural state EMS conference for the past 21 years and offers technical assistance and educational programming to bolster EMS programs across Nevada through the Critical Access Hospital Flex Program.
TMCC to offer new degree with community health science emphasis 
Beginning in fall 2013, TMCC will offer a new associate of science
(AS) degree with a community health science emphasis. The emphasis
provides the lower division coursework toward potential bachelor
degrees in community health, public health, health education and other
related areas, and will transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno to
support a bachelor of science degree in community health sciences.
Students who choose this field of study will be ready to continue
their education toward a bachelor's or master's degree in community or public health, or attend professional school in such fields as
medicine, dentistry or physical therapy. Students may also join the
workforce in a wide range of career choices, such as rehabilitation
services, exercise specialists, health administrators and many more.

Four new CHS courses have been created to meet the educational
requirements of this degree and are in TMCC's spring class schedule
( For more information, call the TMCC
Biology Department at 775-673-8251.


WNC nursing program receives high marks from accreditation visit 
Western Nevada College's Associate Degree Nursing program has received high praise by a group of evaluators from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. WNC's Associate of Applied Science Degree program passed the preliminary stage of its eight-year accreditation evaluation with many accolades, and now awaits a final decision from NLNAC Board of Directors, which is expected to vote on the recommendation during a January meeting.


A team of nursing and allied health professionals from around the country pored over a report submitted by WNC, then spent three days personally examining the college's Associate Degree Nursing Program. Curriculum, student policies and procedures, leadership, faculty, equipment, resources, and evaluation processes were all scrutinized. The evaluators spoke with students, faculty and staff, as well as community health care leaders. When the visit concluded, faculty and staff listened to a preliminary appraisal from the evaluators that gave them reason to smile.


The use of a systematic evaluation plan for both students and the curriculum has helped the program achieve a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the national licensing exam for the graduating class of 2012, one evaluator noted.


"With a 100 percent pass rate, you know you are doing something right," she said. "This pass rate speaks loudly for the program. Students are complimentary, and they select this school because of its reputation and what you stand for."


Additional responses from evaluators reflected their respect for the program.  On policies and procedures, "Your college has a culture of commitment to students, and it is evident everywhere," another evaluator said.


The evaluators said they were impressed with the program's well-equipped learning laboratories, including interactive life-size manikins that prepare students to provide safe care for patients in the clinical setting. They also admired the testing stations where student skills can be assessed individually throughout the program. 


The program also drew accolades from the availability of computer labs, library research materials, free research workshops, and the college's Academic Skills Center, which provides tutoring to struggling students.


"You care," one evaluator said. "It is evident in how you respect one another, as well as how you treat your guests on campus."


WNC's Nursing and Allied Health Director, Dr. Judith Cordia, said she credits the program's success, in part, to the commitment of the Nevada System of Higher Education to WNC, strong scholarship support for nursing students by many individuals and organizations, donations from Carson Tahoe Healthcare, the Betty and Locke Lesche Foundation, and Banner Churchill Community Hospital, and to articulation agreements with colleges and universities, including the University of Nevada, Reno, Orvis School of Nursing.


"We also depend on our regional health care providers who provide clinical sites where students from the nursing program are enriching their educational experiences," Cordia said. Partners include Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare, Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, Renown Regional Medical Center, Sierra Surgery Center, Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, Carson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Ormsby Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center, and LifeCare of Reno.


The glowing accreditation review won't slow the continual self-evaluation and commitment to progress in the program, Cordia said. "The college will continue to provide a quality program to serve students who are seeking professional education in 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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