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College of Health and Human Development

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New Department of Nursing Established

Dr. Marianne Hattar Pollara

We are proud to announce that our renowned nursing program is now a full-fledged academic department, with Dr. Marianne Hattar-Pollara serving as Department Chair.  This new status will strengthen the ability of the College of Health and Human Development to educate future professionals and keep current nurses apace with developments in the field. Graduates of our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs are remedying the critical shortage of nurses in California and the US.

"CSUN has a long history of commitment and dedication to nurses in the San Fernando Valley," said Dr. Hattar-Pollara. "And we will continue to develop professional nursing leaders in all areas of practice who can apply new and past nursing knowledge and build upon existing competencies."

Since the first CSUN Nursing degree was conferred in 1996, the Nursing program has grown steadily thanks to dedicated faculty who began paving the way for future nurses as long ago as 1958.

A brief history of CSUN and Nursing appears below, thanks to Presidential Scholar 2010-11 and BSN student Cynthia Urena, RN:

1958: San Fernando Valley State College established.

1966: School Nurse Credential Program opens.

1981: Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is planned through the Consortium of the California State University and Colleges (now CSU/DH) because CSUN’s Health Sciences in Nursing degree is not equivalent to a BSN.  Related to budget, Dr. Lennin Glass, Dean of the School of Communication and Professional Studies (now HHD) at CSUN, states, “a nursing program at CSUN would be extremely difficult to get going.”

1985-86: Fall ’85: Sepulveda Veterans’ Administration Hospital RNs inquire into initiating a BSN program at CSUN.  Mary Parker, Director of Health Sciences and the School Nurse Credential Program, refers them to Dean Lennin Glass.  Dr. Glass meets with Cathy Cameron of LA Pierce Community College Nursing and Mary Parker to discuss the possibility of a BSN at CSUN.

Fall 1986: Dr. Gabany, new Department Chair of Health Sciences, wants to actively pursue a BSN; Mary Parker prepares the proposal to develop the BSN at CSUN in conjunction with area community colleges and the  health care industry.

1987-88: Spring ’87: Dr. Gabany and Mary Parker present a proposal to members of the professional community, including faculty of the nine Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs at various meetings located on campus.

Fall ’87: Mary Parker conducts a needs assessment for the BSN degree, surveys nurses and employers of nurses to ascertain what type of program best suits their needs, and solicits letters of support from the community for the proposed program.  Response is excellent and community college faculty continue to work with Parker on curricular matters.

Spring, ’88: Gabany and Parker meet with various community leaders for financial support including Colleen McLaughlin of Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Foundation pledges a start up fund of approximately $175,000 for a BSN program.  A follow up letter is sent to 30 community hospitals acknowledging the Kaiser commitment, status of the BSN program, and requesting continued support.

’89 CSUN Educational Policy Committee (EPC) approves a CSUN BSN program and curriculum.

’90: California budget crisis hits: $24.1 billion public debt.

’91: CSU system chancellor’s office approves CSUN Nursing Program offering BSN elective in fall. CA budget deficit increases by 44% to $34.8 billion.

1992: Planned opening of BSN Nursing Program during ongoing budget crisis. Dr. Mary Tedrow, first tenure-track full time program director is hired.

1993: January: due to budget crisis, implementation of the BSN is delayed until fall.  Chancellor’s office ended prior two years of financial support for new programs during budget crisis.  Community campaigns to raise $1 million over five years to finance half of BSN start up.  by February, the BSN program begins accepting applications.  Estimated to cost over $1 million over five years, donations from the community are approaching half a million dollars.

1994: 6.7 magnitude “Northridge Earthquake” severely damages campus buildings.  BSN classes are held at LA Pierce Community College.

1995-96: August ’95, Dr. Ellen McFadden RN is appointed CSUN Director of Nursing Program.  By May 96, the first class of RN to BSN students participates in pinning ceremony and convocation for nurses. The CSUN satellite campus in Ventura County expands courses for the BSN degree. CSUN sends a professor to the Ventura campus and also begins conducting classes using interactive video with cameras and television monitors in classrooms at both campuses.

1999: The Nursing Program receives a five year national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2005:  The CSUN BSN Advisory recommends the development of an Accelerated BSN (A-BSN) option.  Meeting with community stakeholders from healthcare agencies and community colleges for input on the new program.  Curriculum developers are Drs. (also RN’s) Martha Highfield, Ellen McFadden, S. Zheim RN and Julie Mann.

2006-07:  In collaboration with the BSN Advisory Board, Dr. Martha Highfield writes a feasibility and self study for a second baccalaureate, 15 month, A-BSN.  The option receives approval from the California Board of Registered Nursing.  CSUN admits 18 students to the first cohort.

2007-08: Dr. Wendy Taylor is appointed Director of Nursing.  By October, UCLA/CSUN Gamma Tau Chapter at large of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is chartered va efforts of CSUN Drs. Bonnie Faherty, Martha Highfield and Ellen Mc Fadden in collaboration with UCLA Gamma Tau.  In August '08, the first ABSN cohort graduates.  100% pass the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on first attempt.

2009: the first NHMC/CSUN Collaborative Evidence based Practice Day and 2nd ABSN 14th RBSN cohorts graduate.

2010: Dr. Marianne Hattar-Pollara, RN, FAAN, is appointed Professor and Nursing Program Director. Faculty and administrators move the CSUN Nursing Program toward Department status and the development of a Master of Science in Nursing.

2011: Nursing Department established, with Dr. Marianne Hattar-Pollara as Chair.

- Courtesy: Cynthia Urena