New nursing graduates look to lead their profession

The first graduates of the RN-BSN program graduated December 11. The degree is a bachelor of science in nursing with a focus on leadership.

The group, known as a cohort, began February 2009 at the North Fresno Center. There are currently two cohorts at North Fresno and one in Visalia, with one cohort at each location scheduled to begin in January.

Registered nurses are trained for entry-level work, mainly in hospitals. A bachelor’s degree opens the door to supervision, administration, further study and teaching. “BSN is the first level of higher education,” said program director Mariamma Mathai. “If they have a BSN they can go on to their master’s and Ph.D.”

The program takes about 18 months, and classes meet weekly.

Photo from left, Debbie Steele, faculty; Karen Cianci, dean of the School of Natural Sciences; Brandie Hale, graduate; Chris Patty, faculty and assistant director in Visalia; Diana Rouse, graduate; D. Merrill Ewert, president; Jennifer Caposella, graduate; Herma Williams, provost; Linda Pryce-Sheehan, registrar; and Mathai. Not pictured, graduates Leilani Alforque, Robin Bowlay-Williams and Mai Tong Yang.

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