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Holly Simpson headshot

Holly Simpson Selected as Health Equity Influencer through Mercy University

We are pleased to announce that Holly Simpson, Senior Instructor, has been selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Health Equity Influencers Program (HEIP) for Nurse Educators at Mercy University’s School of Nursing. The HEIP for Nurse Educators is designed to enhance the readiness of nurse educators to spearhead the advancement of health equity, both within and beyond the classroom. Throughout the program, participants will actively engage in a variety of activities aimed at designing and implementing nursing curricula that not only fosters inclusivity but also confronts structural racism. By doing so, they will assume a pivotal role in bolstering the preparedness of future nurses to champion health equity. Congratulations to Holly for being a trailblazing nurse educator who is committed to forging a healthcare landscape that is more equitable and inclusive for all.
Students studying in library

Bachelor of Science in Public Health & Wellness Program Launching in Fall 2024!

The University of Portland School of Nursing & Health Innovations is excited to announce that the degree program formerly called the Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health and Wellness (BS-IHW) is changing to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Wellness (BS-PHW) starting in Fall 2024!

There are several reasons for this change, and all of them are focused on broadening our curriculum and therefore the career options for our program’s graduates. 

The new name clarifies the focus of the major and the opportunities available to students who complete the degree. The revised curriculum continues to concentrate on improving the health and wellness of individuals, communities, and populations and does so by employing a public health lens. To achieve this, we are adding new courses, such as: Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Human Health and Disease, and Health Policy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in public health and wellness are among the fastest growing occupations in the United States. Graduates of our program are prepared to work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, sports industry, non-profit organizations, businesses, and more. Career options include:

  • Certified Health Educator
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Certified Health Coach
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Exercise Science Specialist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Physician or Nurse
  • Nutritionist
  • Health Policy Advocate
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Naturopath
  • Acupuncturist
  • Nature and Forest Therapy Guide

Please visit the BS-PHW program webpage and reach out to to learn more about the types of courses, student experiences, and career options this major supports. 

Claire McKinley Yoder

Claire McKinley-Yoder Selected as Distinguished Thought Leader in Nursing & Health Education

We are pleased to announce that Claire McKinley Yoder, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, was chosen to serve as a Distinguished Thought Leader in Nursing & Health Education for the National League for Nursing and Walden University College of Nursing’s Institute for Social Determinants of Health and Social Change, Social Determinants of Health & Social Change Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy is overseen by the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership.

In this year long program, thought leaders will work on scholarly writing, research, curriculum development, and building leadership competencies to prepare them for a lead role in preparing future caregivers who provide culturally sensitive care as well as focusing on systems that advance the health of national and global communities.

“We anticipate that through their immersion in this intensive initiative, these nursing education leaders will be prepared to address individual, family, and community health and welfare to advance health equity” said NLN Chair Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, interim associate dean of academic affairs at Michigan State University in Lansing.

SSH Accreditation Logo

Elsie Franz-Finley Simulated Health Center Becomes First Fully Accredited Healthcare Simulation Center in Oregon

The University of Portland Elsie Franz-Finley Simulated Health Center (SHC) in the School of Nursing & Health Innovations is the first healthcare simulation center in Oregon to be fully accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). Specifically, the SHC is accredited in the area of Teaching/Education, effective August 2, 2022 and through December 31, 2027.

The SSH examines healthcare simulation centers with a peer-reviewed and evidenced based approach. By being granted full accreditation, the SSH affirmed that the SHC has dedicated and sufficient resources to achieve its mission of preparing and inspiring healthcare leaders through high-fidelity, immersive experiences to support the development of clinical judgment, ethical reflection, and leadership formation, while providing holistic care and valuing human dignity. 

The SHC is recognized for and continues to be committed to:

  • An evidence-based simulation delivery approach
  • Fostering excellence in healthcare simulation
  • Implementing high-quality simulation experiences
  • Adhering to high standards through simulation guidelines
  • Committed to professional development and lifelong learning for both students and faculty
See Simulated Health Center
New school of nursing and health innovations logo

School of Nursing Announces New Name

We have big news to share! The University of Portland School of Nursing is now the School of Nursing & Health Innovations.

Our faculty, staff, and students strive to embrace innovation to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving health care system. We are constantly looking ahead and adapting our curriculum, programs, and collaborations to ensure our graduates enter the workforce ready to face the health care challenges of today — and lead the way tomorrow. That’s why our longstanding mission to continually innovate is now part of our name.

Nursing Student is Awarded Nursing Corps Association Scholarship

We are proud to announce Sarah Ignacio as a recipient of an Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship. She was selected from a large group of outstanding applicants by the Army Nurse Corps Association. Congratulations Sarah!

Nursing students administering COVID vaccines the Oregon Convention Center

UP Student Nurses Get Real World Experience Administering COVID Vaccines

University of Portland’s student nurses live for their clinical rotations, when they finally get the chance to take what they’ve learned and practiced at school and apply it to real world situations. But, due to COVID, a group of juniors poised to work pediatric and ob-gyn rotations in a local hospital this spring found their internships canceled. But UP’s nursing program is nothing if not resourceful, and the students were quickly set up with a new opportunity to get experience with live patients while doing something to actively fight the nemesis that thwarted their plans: administering COVID-19 vaccines at the Oregon Convention Center.

The students say working with a steady onslaught of different people gave them an incredibly valuable learning experience in patient care.

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Nursing students taking notes in the Simulated Health Center

School of Nursing & Health Innovations Assist Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers with COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

As Oregon welcomes long-awaited vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Portland School of Nursing & Health Innovations (UPSONHI) is stepping up to assist with vaccination of priority recipients at Kaiser Permanente medical centers. 

When the spring term begins on the UP campus in late January, 30-40 students from UPSONHI will join the vaccination effort to increase the distribution of the vaccines locally. The students, juniors and seniors in the nursing program, will receive additional training as part of their clinical curriculum to prepare them for the vaccination responsibilities.

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School of Nursing Alum Bailey Saleumvong '08

Travel Nurse Works with COVID-19 Patients

Within the busting halls of a Los Angeles hospital, a popular Beatles song plays over the intercom. The uplifting melody has become an anthem of hope for School of Nursing & Health Innovations alum Bailey Saleumvong ’08.

After years of experience in neuroscience, emergency, cardiac, and ICU units, Bailey decided to become a travel nurse. With this job, Bailey gets the opportunity to live and work in different cities and hospitals around the country, but chooses to take jobs primarily in California and Washington. 

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Jennifer Graves sitting down in a COVID-19 assessment and recovery facility

When Nurses Speak, We Listen: On Ethical Leadership

In April, Jennifer Graves ’87, ’92 MSN, the regional nursing executive of Kaiser Permanente Washington, was asked to staff a new COVID-19 assessment and recovery facility with around-the-clock coverage for those in the King County, WA, area experiencing homelessness. She didn’t hesitate. In mere weeks she had the staff and processes in place. A creative thinker, a listener, a leader, a proud mom, and a lover of the game of basketball, Graves believes her University of Portland education prepared her for the challenge of the moment.

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Person in a hospital bed

ELNEC Project Reaches Milestone with One Million Nurses Trained in End-of-Life Care

The University of Portland School of Nursing & Health Innovations has partnered with the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) to provide undergraduate and doctorate students with a palliative care education through ELNEC's online curriculum. It is a valuable asset not only with the School of Nursing, but nationwide!

time for change in scrabble pieces

Cathryn Casey '19 Shares About Her Jesuit Volunteer Corps Experience in Rural Bethel, Alaska

Upon Cathryn Casey’s graduation in May 2019, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest (JVCNW) as a wellness coordinator in rural Bethel, Alaska for a year of service. The city of Bethel has a population of about 6,000 people and can only be accessed through plane or boat. Bethel is on the Kuskokwim River and is home to the Yup’ik people - the traditional stewards of the land. Cathryn provided wellness activities, tutoring, and mentoring to students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus. 

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