Nursing students filled every seat in the second floor conference room for the “University Update” meeting or U2 on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at American University of Health Sciences (AUHS). U2 is an event that takes place on the third or fourth week of each quarter. In this meeting, AUHS students are briefed on essential information regarding their education, new faculty, upcoming events, and more.
The U2 meeting began with a presentation from AUHS Interim President, Dr. Kim Dang (Hon.). Dr. Dang commended the students on their outstanding performance on the NCLEX Board Exam. AUHS nursing students achieved a BRN pass rate of 91.94% for the years 2015-2016.
“We don’t look at our students in terms of numbers and that only 3.8 GPA students are capable,” said Dr. Dang, “We have proven that even if you don’t have a 3.8 entering GPA, you can still beat the UC system in pass rates.”
Most nursing programs in UC and Cal State universities require a 3.8-4.0 GPA in order to be considered for admission. AUHS only requires the minimum GPA of 2.5. This exceptional pass rate was achieved by the “efforts, commitment and dedication of AUHS students, faculty and administration,” according to Dr. Dang.
This high pass rate is significant because most employers in the nursing field look at an applicant’s NCLEX Board Exam score.
Dr. Dang discussed the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national accreditation agency that assesses Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate nursing programs for public and private schools. CCNE allows students and consumers to know whether or not a school has met a higher standard than what is required from the state level. (The minimum requirement for a Nursing program is to receive accreditation from the Board of Registered Nursing or “BRN”). AUHS’ CCNE accreditation has to be renewed every 5 years.
“We have met all four standards with flying colors for CCNE,” said Dr. Dang, “CCNE will have a hearing sometime in April 2017 for our reaffirmation.”
The University was also visited by the Accrediting Council For Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) from October 6-7, 2016.
“We did not have any problems with ACICS ;except they wanted us to have a more in-depth assessment of our Admissions Department’s quality assurance,” said Dr. Dang, “We have to devise a plan to ensure our Admissions Department is telling you accurate information and that they don’t make decisions in terms of accepting you as students, which they don’t. But we have to prove to them that we have a process.”
AUHS had also applied for Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2013 to allow AUHS students the “ease of transferability,” said Dr. Dang. WASC will perform a site visit at AUHS from April 25-27, 2017.
Dr. Dang announced that the University’s Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) would be visiting the University on January 25-26, 2017 to ensure AUHS has met all the standards.
AUHS must submit an annual report to the BRN, however, BRN accreditation only lasts five years and the University’s expires in August 2017.
“This is our third time being reaccredited and this is just a routine visit,” said Dr. Dang, “The nursing board visit is to make sure that the reaccreditation process is doing what it’s supposed to do. It allows us to see what we have done correctly and what we can do to improve.”
Although the BRN site visit is nothing out of the ordinary, the BRN reaccreditation is a necessity because it allows AUHS students to take the NCLEX Board Exam.
The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) is a “non-profit, self-governing organization (that) promotes the welfare [. . .] and development of postsecondary institutions whose mission is characterized by a distinctly Christian purpose” is scheduled to visit AUHS in June 2017.
The reason for these accreditation visits is to prepare the university in its goal to create several new programs. AUHS plans to give the opportunity for students to pursue Nurse Practitioner (NP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MDN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Business Administration (or “MBA,” that only focuses on healthcare management), and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degrees.
AUHS Provost Dr. Dianna Scherlin’s presentation in the U2 meeting emphasized the importance of student involvement in the accreditation process.
“There has to be student involvement in this activity,” said AUHS Provost Dr. Dianna Scherlin, “I’m asking every Cohort to join our advisory board task force for the WASC, TRACS and other accreditation teams.”
One of the assignments students will be given is to read some sections of the report and give their honest opinion so they will have a voice in the accreditation process. Members of the advisory board will have the opportunity to be the representative students when WASC visits the University.
Dr. Scherlin encouraged students who are interested in joining the student advisory board to visit her office for more information. Students who participate in this advisory board will receive a certificate, a letter of recommendation and a party. Dr. Scherlin is also seeking authorization to give participating students community service hours.
AUHS students were also updated on their community service hours by AUHS Director of Marketing and Publications Maria Maloles. Students are required to complete 100 hours of community service in order to graduate, said Maloles. Students will now have the opportunity to schedule their volunteer hours ahead of time because AUHS had posted a calendar of community outreach events and volunteer opportunities for 2017 on the University’s Moodle account. Each community service event will also have a list of people that are needed at the particular event.
“The first (event) is the Blood Drive on February 27th,” said Maloles, “Please come to my office at Room 310 if you want to sign up.”
Maloles also clarified how many community service hours students would receive for each task and event. If a student volunteers at an event during the weekend, he or she will receive three community service hours for every hour they volunteer at that event. If a student volunteers at an event during the weekday, they will get two community service hours for every hour they volunteer. If a student does filing, typing and other clerical work during the weekday, they will receive one hour for every hour they volunteer.
AUHS will be branching out to Building 2 and 3 on campus. All of AUHS Administration (i.e. Financial Aid, Student Services, Career Services, etc.) will be moved from the third floor of Building 1 to Building 2 before the WASC site visit in April 2017.
The third floor in Building 1 will be converted into larger classrooms for the Nursing program. Building 3 will be designated for the PharmD program.
Some AUHS nursing students have been hired even though they have not graduated yet. Hospitals are trying to employ some students ahead of time, according to Dr. Dang.
“The reason why a lot of hospitals love our students is because of their sincerity and their genuine interest in helping patients and that’s not the norm. AUHS students actually care,” Dr. Dang said.
AUHS is a University that cares for its students and wishes to help them succeed and reach their highest potential.
“If you have questions or concerns, it doesn’t help to talk just to a friend because they can’t do anything for you because they are not part of administration,” said Dr. Dang, “If you need help, speak to (the Dean of Nursing) Dr. Mercy Popoola, (the Provost) Dr. Dianna Scherlin, (Vice President, Operations and Development) Dr. Marilyn Uvero, (Director of Student Affairs) Ivy Javaluyas, or me. We are here for you.”
“I love coming to graduation at the Long Beach Convention Center and seeing how happy our student’s families are and that’s why a lot of us in the AUHS Administration are doing this,” said Dr. Dang, “I really love what we do here and I want to make sure that we continue to give students the same opportunities.”
AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook @auhs.edu and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.