Graduate School of Nursing

Uniformed Nurses

Uniformed nurses carry out a charge that reaches far beyond traditional nursing roles. They care for patients in locations as dangerous as the wounds they treat, and make decisions that can save one life or thousands at once. Uniformed nurses are the cornerstones of the Military Health System, and USU is the place to learn the advanced skills needed to be expert clinicians and leaders in the profession.

Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing

The University’s Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing (GSN), established in 1993 with the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, has since grown in size and scope. After celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, the year 2014 served as a “year of transition” when the school initiated its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program—with accreditation and full execution of integration with the services. The first class will graduate in spring 2015. Today, the GSN has a Master of Science in Nursing program option for clinical nurse specialists, Doctor of Nursing Practice program with specialty tracks for nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science program.

GSN graduates achieve a level of competence and professionalism that far exceeds professional standards. They benefit from a practice- and evidencebased curriculum that emphasizes operational and field medicine as well as military families, health conditions unique to federal and military beneficiaries, and of course, military and health care leadership. Our alumni are distinguished by their focus on advocacy and patient care, along with their understanding of population health, health economics, and organizational and systems leadership.

This year’s school highlights include:

  • Penny PierceAn Inter-Agency Agreement signed by the Health Resources and Services Administration and USU established a new Center of Excellence: The Military Center for Families, led by Penny Pierce, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Initially, team members will identify service and policy gaps in maternal-child care within the military system, and develop education and research initiatives designed to improve the health of military families.
  • As part of the national effort to address the shortage of nursing faculty and the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care, the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare awarded a grant to the University to advance the scholarly work of five individual USU Ph.D. in Nursing Science students and two scholar teams of nine Doctor of Nursing Practice students.
  • Inter-professional experiences to enhance provider identification and treatment of military sexual trauma were developed through collaboration with Dr. Ann W. Burgess, D.N.S., RNCS, FAAN, a visiting professor from Boston College, as well as the GSN and School of Medicine (SOM) faculty. The first pilot of a new online military sexual trauma course was launched in November 2014. This modular online course is integrated into both the GSN and SOM curriculum, and in March 2015, SOM and GSN students will participate in an interactive, interprofessional sexual trauma patient simulation at the Val G. Hemming Simulation Center.

The GSN is the only military and federal Graduate School of Nursing. This premier school is entrusted with educating the next generation of military and federal nurse leaders, scientists, clinicians/practitioners, educators, and policy makers.

Recent graduates who have provided, or are providing, critical leadership include:

  • Victoria Davey, Ph.D., MPH, RN, a 2005 graduate, is currently chief officer of the Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The office focuses on infectious diseases of special concern to the veteran population, including HIV, influenza and environmental exposures.
  • Captain Lynne Slepski, Ph.D., RN, PHCNSBC, FAAN, another 2005 Ph.D. graduate who works for the Department of Homeland Security, was detailed to work with the Department of Transportation on the Ebola outbreak. Her daughter is continuing a proud USU tradition and is a student in the School of Medicine, Class of 2015.
  • Army Major Ann Ketz, a 2015 Ph.D. in Nursing Science candidate, received the Tiina Karu Young Investigator Award for Basic Photo-medicine Research at the North American Association for Light Therapy. The award was presented by Dr. Karu herself, a pioneer in studying the mechanisms of light at the cellular and molecular level. Ketz’ dissertation was entitled “Neuropathic Pain: Characteristics and Modulation of Macrophage/Microglial Activation.”