School of Nursing Perspective: Tish Smyer

Tish Smyer, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Feb. 13, 2012


The School of Nursing has had a busy year, complete with a revised curriculum for the bachelor's program, steady growth in the Ph.D. program and upgrades to our simulation technology.

School faculty continue to be productive and energetic. Our students are some of the best in the state. This bodes well for the substantive contribution our School of Nursing can make to the state.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum was revised and implemented in Fall 2010. We had our first graduates in December 2011, who received a NCLEX of 98.99 percent in 2011. The overall curriculum was modified to meet new requirements from the Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents. The total number of degree credits required will be 122, reduced from 125.

For the first time this fall, the Nursing school in conjunction with the School of Allied Health Sciences will offer a first -year experience two- credit course, called HSC 100 Inquiry and Issues in Health Science.

Eight Ph.D. students graduated in December 2011, a record number for the Nursing school. That brings us to a total of 22 graduates since the program began. Our Ph.D. students are filling the critical need for faculty members in nursing schools across the country. The Nursing school also has increased recruitment efforts for its Urban Sustainability option, in the hopes of attracting nurses from across the country. In the Urban Sustainability track, student analyze how urban neighborhoods, environmental structures, schools, workplace safety and the quality of our food, water, land and air influence our overall health and lifespan.

We expect our first batch of 20 students from the University of Nevada Doctorate of Nursing Practice students to graduate in May 2012. The UNDNP is a collaborative program between UNLV and UNR. The diverse translational/clinical projects that we are beginning to see from students in this program will help to improve the health care within the state of Nevada and across the country.

The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Track began piloting standardized patient experiences at the Clinical Simulation Center Las Vegas (CSC-LV). The standardized patient program allows students to interact with trained actors to increase their ability in the clinical area. The MSN Nurse Educator Track produces future faculty for many of the nursing programs in our state.

Tish Smyer is the School of Nursing’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. She also serves as Vice President of the Nevada State Board of Nursing.