MEPN Class of 2019 has entered the building!


MEPN orientation Aug 2017

(MEPNs posting #firstdayofnursingschool)

A class of 65 MEPN students started the journey to become a registered professional nurses. In just 21 months, a lot of early mornings in the hospital, and a lot of late night studying these students will be masters prepared RNs. Students are in the midst of MEPN Bootcamp which is a jam packed 3 week course teaching students how to interview a patient and perform a complete head-to-toe physical.

Blood pressure

Good Luck to all of our new MEPNs. Study hard, it will be worth it!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MEPNs go to diabetes camp

 Written by student writer; Michelle Glathe

Wana Kura 2017-1

MEPN student, Michelle Glathe teaching a camper how to draw up insulin

About 20  USD MEPN students had the pleasure of participating in Camp Wana Kura 2017 as medical leaders in training, this past week. Prior to this experience, most of us had little exposure to the rigorous requirements those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must adhere to 24 hours a day. This camp, made possible by the American Diabetes Association, is a 4-day camp at Santee Lakes for children with type 1 diabetes ages 5 -13.

Campers are divided by age into units of about 14 campers per group. Each MEPN student was assigned to a camp unit and with the support from the Medical Leader (RN or MD), shared the responsibility of the diabetes management and medical record keeping of each camper in the given unit. As the campers arrived with their parents or caretakers, MEPN students registered each camper, noting their morning blood sugar, amount of insulin administered, and their current feelings towards the day ahead and/or blood sugar related symptoms. Throughout the day, the role of the MEPN student was to increase their own awareness and decision-making related to blood sugar management such as determining appropriate insulin dosing during snacks and lunch.

Calculations and delivery technique of subcutaneous insulin injections aside, the most important insight MEPN students received simply came from asking a camper (of any age) living with type 1-diabetes questions such as;  “What does a high/low blood sugar feel like” or “How does diabetes affect your sleep” or “When the ‘numbers’ get you down what do you do to feel good about yourself” – MEPNs  quickly learned no answer is the same and every child with type 1 diabetes is managing this challenge in their own unique way.

Wana Kura2

A group of MEPN students along with the RN from Monarch School and a camper.

Overall, the USD MEPN nursing students gained valuable insight and knowledge about the chronic condition of type 1 diabetes from those who know the disease best – those living with it, in this case, the campers.

Wana Kura 3

Dr Marsh teaching a camper how to inject his insulin

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

If You Give a Nurse a Cookie…

This post is written by guest writer, MEPN student, Kira Adsit.

This past weekend, in the beginning of a sunny San Diego summer day, USD nursing students filed into BINR – but it was not for a day of open lab, a clinical competency exam, or a cram session. Last Saturday, we welcomed the Girl Scouts for our second “You Can Be… a Nurse!” event. Junior high and high school girls came to get an appreciation of the nursing profession by touring the USD Simulation Center and engaging in a variety of nursing skills.

By the end of the day, each Girl Scout had run through all of our stations! She had properly washed her hands (verified by Glo-germ, black lights, – thank you Nancy, and Yenny!), learned how to perform an infant assessment, checked eyes and ears, interacted with the simulation man, practiced injections, performed a dressing change on a pressure ulcer model (after putting on those neutral nurse faces), taken vital signs (and found subtle pulses with a Doppler), demonstrated the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and assessed pupil dilation.

The Girl Scouts were quick to warm up to the new skills and were finishing neck-to -neck PPE races by the end of their time with us! Girl Scouts were engaged and appreciative; some surprised us with their flawless intradermal injection skills into the shot pads (with an extra special surprise of squirting Krista and Ariana when they popped).  We wrapped up each session with a debrief and loved hearing what the girl scouts learned and which skills stations the girls enjoyed most.

The USD MEPN students manning the stations relished the chance to host the Girl Scouts and share their passion and knowledge for the nursing profession. The MEPN students’ hard work, relentless enthusiasm, flexibility, and eagerness to answer all questions accompanied their incredible attitudes and willingness to spend a Saturday away from the books. A huge thanks to the Girl Scouts for bringing their wonderful energy into our lab, spending the day with us, and sharing their Thin Mints.

We hope you have been inspired to consider joining this amazing professional field and to we look forward to seeing you someday as nurses!

Special thanks to these selfless MEPN students who made this event possible!

  • Jean Hartley
  • Phonthip Eadens
  • Mallorie Schoesler
  • Jennifer Zaldivar
  • Britney Aguirre
  • Nancy Chau
  • Riley Cable
  • Ann Lawani
  • Brittani De Riemer
  • Ariana Papp
  • Krista Dwyer
  • Diane-Marie Aguilar
  • Lauren Lamoreaux
  • Sophia Jorgenson
  • Kristi Armstrong
  • Michelle Glathe
  • Zinnia Kidane
  • Nichole Chung
  • Anne Uyen-Tran Ho
  • Katie Lam

(and special kudos to Dr. Susie Hutchins!!!)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

MEPN Students volunteer at the Food Bank

Food Bank 3

Summer semester is off to a busy start. MEPN students are increasing their understanding of the challenges of homelessness and hunger through a variety of ways.

Two clinical groups spent a day last week working at the San Diego Food Bank inspecting and sorting food that had been received from a range of sources including locally-run food drives, the USDA, growers, retailers, and wholesalers.

Students then categorized products by food group, and boxed or bagged about 6000 pounds of food for distribution to the community.

The Food Bank distributes food directly to families and individuals in need at 183 distribution sites throughout the county every month, often in parking lots.

The Food Bank also provides food to 350 nonprofits that operate feeding programs. Nonprofits pick up food from the Food Bank’s warehouse and distribute the food to people in need in their areas. These nonprofits include soup kitchens, shelters, churches with feeding programs, schools, senior and disabled living facilities, and food pantries.

Many thanks to Professors Tracy Page and Molly McAmis for mentoring students in this activity.

Posted in Class of 2018, community involvement, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Congratulations to the Class of 2017

MEPN 2017

Dear MEPN graduates,


The entire USD Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science faculty and staff are so proud of your accomplishments. Convocation and Commencement was the icing on the top of a very rigorous program preparing you to be the most well prepared nurse providing excellent care to the most vulnerable populations. We look forward to following your nursing careers.

Best of luck to you as you are studying for the NCLEX, participating in job interviews, and starting your new grad positions.  All of us look forward to staying in touch with you and following each and every one of your nursing careers.

A few things to keep in mind…

Your USD email is yours for life!

Join the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science group on ‘Linked In’

Plan to come back to campus for the MEPN Panel Discussion in early March 2018 to share your new grad story with the graduating MEPNs.

As soon as you obtain your RN license, you are able to apply for your Public Health Nurse (PHN) certificate (no exam). Contact Le Rae when you are ready and she will guide you through the process.

It is a pleasure and an honor to call you ‘colleague’.


The MEPN Team

Dr. Kathy Marsh, Dr. Susie Hutchins, Dr. Jackie Close, Dr. Linda Urden, Nadine Kassity Krich, and Le Rae Gilliam

MEPN Students 2017

Posted in Class of 2017, Faculty, Getting your first nursing job, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MEPNs celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday with presentations from Drs. Hardin and Roth


It was all smiles today when 2nd year MEPN students enjoyed an early birthday celebration complete with cake and champagne, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th. What a great break amidst the end-of-the year tests, papers, and presentations.

The real treat was the presentation by USD’s own Dr. Sally Hardin and Dr. Patricia Roth, both Nightingale scholars in their own right. Dean Hardin presented a historical review of how far nursing has come since the Crimean War (i.e. universal precautions). Dean Hardin also had a replica of the Nightingale lamp which was used to guide nurses to patient assessment during the Crimean War.  USD School of Nursing is also honored to be the owner of a ‘first edition; of Nightingale’s Note on Nursing.

Dean Hardin and lamp

Dr. Roth presented a behind the scenes view of the challenges women faced in nursing during the late 1800’s.

Dr Roth


An interesting fact is both of these scholars were close friends/colleagues with the USD School of Nursing founding Dean, Dr. Irene Palmer. Dr. Palmer was the preeminent Nightingale Scholar of our time.  We can only imagine some of the interesting conversations that have taken place at those birthday celebrations!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MEPNs walk to support mental health issues

This post is written by guest writer, Evan Gum, 1st year MEPN

Evan Gum

1st year Evan Gum discusses new Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment for severe depression

On a warm Saturday morning, April 29th several 1st year MEPN students elected to wake up early to participate in  the San Diego County’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) fundraising walk in Liberty Station. The walk was an excellent culmination of their psych clinical rotation demonstrating how patient advocacy continues beyond the hospital setting, and providing first hand insight into the resources available throughout the community. NAMI is an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in communities nationwide as part of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organizations. The organization works tirelessly to eliminate stigma and provide health services and support to the mentally ill using donations from fundraisers like the NAMI walk. Currently 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition, and NAMI hopes to positively impact them all!


Sixteen students arrived at 7 AM sharp to check in and receive their official walk bibs as well as conduct a pre-brief with Professor Terri Fitzpatrick who was sponsoring the team. Several students even brought their family members who shared in the experience further promoting awareness of mental health issues. Before the start of the walk the group had the opportunity to engage with several of the sponsors of the event who set up booths along the starting line. Each booth represented a different community resource for the San Diego mentally ill population, which provided a diverse educational experience on the continuum of care.

group photo

From Left to Right: Karina Ochoa, Aya Dreze, Danika Johnson, Kristna White, Riley Cable, Ajay Kumra, Nichole Chung, Britney Aguirre, Katie Lam, Evan Gum, Krista Dwyer, Jean Hartley, Jason Vazquez, Sara Ryan, Rhonda Taylor, Abby Micieli and Terri Fitzpatrick pose at the start!

            The walk itself was a 5K along the beautiful shore of Liberty Station, and featured walkers from several hospital settings as well as sponsoring groups. Along the way students met many health care providers and patient advocates who modeled the community focused care model. After breaking a sweat the group reconvened to discuss what they had seen and learned throughout the day. Each remarked on how impressed they were by the outpouring of support for the event and the unique community resources available! The day was filled with smiles, laughter, and a positive outlook on the future. Students were grateful for the opportunity to expand their clinical experience to the community setting, and left the day with a much greater knowledge of the field!

Special thanks to Professor Terri Fitzpatrick for sponsoring the event and mentoring the MEPN students!

students learn about eating disorders

Students learn about eating disorders and local support resources

Posted in Class of 2018, Guest Writer, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Linda Vista Multicultural Fair attendees benefit from extensive health promotion teaching provided by MEPN students!

This post is written by guest writer, Dr Ann  Mayo

On Saturday April 22, USD MEPN students ran two Health Pavilion stations at the Linda Vista Multicultural Fair. Topics covered & delivered in English and Spanish to the very diverse community included oral hygiene, healthy eating, adult & infant CPR, and infant choking. Demonstrations of techniques were provided by the students followed by community member return demonstrations.

Students skillfully drew the community into the Health Pavilion area with the use of a bubble machine and a spinning wheel game with giveaway prizes. Colorful rulers, pencils and erasers were given to winners of the spinning wheel nutrition game. Toothpaste and toothbrushes were given away to those who demonstrated correct brushing techniques on the full mouth models. Interestingly, a number of community members asked if they could be certified/recertified in CPR at the students’ CPR demonstration station. While not set up for this, the students identified a community need – equally important and something to consider for the future.

Finally, USD MEPN students were responsible for checking that attendee Health Passports were signed off for each station in the Health Pavilion. For those who visited each station, the students provided a large bag of health-related items such as hand sanitizer, hand soap, and band aides. Thanks to all of the MEPN students who assembled these bags last week!

Drs. Hutchins, Mayo and Close had the privilege of supporting and being able to see first-hand these accomplished students in action!

Many thanks to 1st year MEPNs, Jean Hartley and Judith Ramirez for getting this event staffed and organized and to all of the MEPN students who attended the fair and provided such wonderful health promotion teaching to the Linda Vista community!


Posted in Class of 2018 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MEPNs provide cardiac screenings for San Diego teens and young adults

This post is written by guest writer Manreet Sahota, 2nd year MEPN student

Save a life-2017-3

The first Eric Paredes, Save A Life Foundation’s Heart Screening at a university…OUR university, the UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO, was a success!

The Eric Paredes Foundation works tirelessly to make sure teens are screened for the possibility sudden cardiac death, the #1 killer of student athletes and contributes to the #2 medical cause of death under age 25, and the leading cause of death on school campuses.

When MEPNs awoke on Sunday morning, April 9th many did not realize they would help to SAVE A LIFE.

Sunday, April 9th, beginning at 7 am, about 60 MEPN nursing student volunteers displayed team work, compassion, and integrity while providing cardiac screening (EKGs) to teens and young adults. The event took place right here on campus in the School of Nursing and the Beyster Institute for Nursing Research (BINR).

Teens and parents checked in at the registration desk in the School of Nursing, then proceeded to a classroom where MEPN students taught teens and parents alike, the basics of CPR. Once participants could successfully demonstrate the technique of CPR, they moved into the BINR building where girls and boys were separated and received an EKG (a test that records the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed on the skin).

After the EKG was completed, teens and parents moved to the cardiac echocardiogram station An echocardiogram [echo] is a test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound). The test is also called echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound. Volunteer echo techs and physicians specializing in cardiology discussed the likelihood of a sudden death experience happening to their child.

Throughout the day MEPN student leaders continued to receive compliments from parents about how well the nursing students were all doing. Parents were impressed with MEPN students ability to build rapport and engage the teen participants. MEPNS dedicated that day to helping 436 participants!

Just to put all of that into perspective for you, you screened:

436 students

at risk for Sudden Cardiac Death (SCA)

with previously undiagnosed cardiac abnormalities that require follow up

From learning how to properly use the new ECG machines to being so willing to float to each station, it is impossible to express the level of gratitude to the MEPN volunteers.

Many thanks to Dean Sally Hardin for all of her support with this student run project as well as; Dr. Cheryl Butera, Dr. Susie Hutchins, and Dr. Kathy Marsh.

Super, super thanks to 2nd year MEPNs Daniel Roderick and Kaylyn LaValle (especially for shopping for breakfast and lunch items).

Save a life-2017-4Evan GumAnn

Posted in Class of 2017, Class of 2018, Guest Writer | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

MEPNs prep for New-Grad Nursing interviews with ‘Mock Interviews’ in lab

Mock Interviews-2017

MEPNs came to lab last week dressed for success and ready for “Mock Interviews” (aka New grad Practice interviews) . A panel of 3-4 nurses interviewed each and every 2nd year MEPN. Each student was given a series of 3-4 interview questions to answer for the panel while classmates were in another room watching the interview on a big screen TV monitor and providing a critique. The interviews were video-recorded so students could go back and review whether or not they had the professional and polished look they were hoping for.

Good Luck on those interviews!

Dr. Marsh’s tips for your new grad interview

  1. Dress for Success – Keep your look basic and conservative, make sure you get your outfit cleaned, pressed, and tailored. Don’t forget about the little things: Shine your shoes, check for loose hems, and make sure your fingernails look manicured. This is the stuff that you don’t always think people notice, but they do!

Do a little pampering, because looking your best helps you feel your best. If that means you need a facial, haircut, razor shave, or even a new interview outfit, then by all means do it! Feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence.

Avoid low cut blouses, visible tattoos, and clothes that are too tight. You might be invited for a tour around the unit to which you are applying so avoid heels that are too high, making walking precarious.

  1. Know the hospital – Make sure you are familiar with the Mission and Vision for the hospital to which you are applying. Once you have mastered the mission and vision move on to the hospital’s website and Facebook page—the tone of the content on these sites will speak volumes. Or, try reading individual employees’ blogs to figure out what type of people work (and excel) there.

 3. Practice several interview questions with the no-fail, “Rocket Model”. Just like we practiced in the lab – you can avoid rambling by using the ‘Rocket Model’ which helps answer each interview question in 90 seconds, or less. All of our graduating MEPNs  have received a copy of the most recent ‘new grad’ interview questions. Review and practice.


                       Answer the message – ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

-‘My role was…’

– ‘Our goal was…’

Specific Proof – ‘for example…’

         Audience Connection – ‘this is important because…’

Conclusion  –  ‘to sum up…’

  1. Find out who will be on your interview panel – When you are informed of your interview time it is okay to ask who will be on your panel. Try to find out the department in  which the panelists work and their title. Bring enough copies of your resume as well as your portfolio so all panel members have their own copy during the interview.

5. Write a thank you note – just like mom always told you – Manners count. A short hand written thank you note lets interviewers know you appreciate the interview opportunity and you are looking forward to being a part of their team.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment