News & Awards

Gwyneth Milbrath receives 2016 Spurgeon Neel Award

Gwyneth Milbrath, RN, MSN, MPH, received one of the 2016 Spurgeon Neel Awards.  The Spurgeon Neel Award is a national competition hosted by the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation each year, and is awarded for a paper that best exemplifies the history, legacy, and traditions of the Army Medical Department. Gwyneth submitted a paper detailing the experiences of six nurses serving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during the bombing on December 7, 1941.  The paper is entitled "Grace under fire: The Army nurses of Pearl Harbor, 1941." This is the same paper she presented at the American Association for the History of Nursing Conference in Dublin, Ireland in September.  

HRSA Grant News

HRSA funded 21 advanced nursing programs through the Advanced Nursing Education funds to support the training of new nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses. UNC is a recipient of an award of almost 1.8 million ($1,796,364) over 3 years to support “An Academic-Practice Partnership to train Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners to improve care of rural adults across the transitions of care.” The new graduate nursing program at the University of Northern Colorado will prepare AGACNP graduates to work with clients from adolescents through the frail elderly with a focus on the rural environment and transitions of care and aging in place.  An innovative academic-practice partnership with Affordable Care Organizations in our region will facilitate a focus on understanding of rural culture, resources in the rural environment and coordination of care and collaboration to improve transitions of care and help prevent hospital readmissions. 

Audrey Snyder in Nursing is the Program Director on the grant. It is a collaboration between Nursing (Kathleen Dunemn, Jeanette McNeil and Gwyneth Milbrath), Gerontology (Joyce Weil) and Public Health (Liz Gilbert and Teresa Sharp). This team also received i@UNC funding to promote collaborations in this program and expand existing partnerships with public and private health agencies to incorporate and promote IPE and to address health professional shortages and health disparities in rural and frontier areas.

Dr. Loretta Ford, the NP founder (July 2015)

Loretta Ford and Rhonda Squires

Dr. Rhonda Squires, Coordinator of the FNP/DNP programs at UNC with Dr. Loretta Ford, the NP founder 50 years ago at the 50th Nurse Practitioner Symposium in Keystone, Colorado, July, 2015.




Rhonda Squires joins the BMG Western Region Peer Review committee
(May 2015)

Rhonda Squires, NP at the North Colorado Family Medicine Residency has taken a leadership role by joining the BMG Western Region Peer Review committee that meets monthly; ensuring that there is APP representation on the committee.


June Leonard Nursing Award

Colorado Nightingale Award Winner: Dr. Vicki Wilson (5/9/15)

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, Dr. Vicki Wilson was one of six winners of the prestigious Nightingale Award for Advocacy in Administrator, Educator, Researcher, or Non-Traditional Roles:  an outstanding nurse who advanced a cause or a purpose.

Dr. VIcki Wilson advocates for at risk university students, underserved and vulnerable persons and populations in our community and across the globe.    Vicki most recently assisted in the development of a community partnership model with Sunrise Community Health Center in Weld County through writing and obtaining collaborative grants totaling $236,000.  During the first 29 months, 2,765 patients were served.  It is commendable that Dr. Wilson has been able to sustain  this service even when the grant monies expired.  She is engaged in numerous community boards and committees where she advocates not only for the vulnerable but for our profession of nursing.  Her service on these boards is instrumental in bringing to the fore, the voice and perspective of the professional nurse. A peer noted, " Dr. Wilson exemplifies the consummate advocate in all professional dimensions.  Her determination and passion to make a difference for underserved populations, enhances nursing education experiences and active community engagement are clear evidence of Dr. Wilson's commitment to advocacy".  As an educator, Dr. Wilson's love of serving her community has stimulated others to do the same.  The long term impact in the community is truly immeasurable.


Academic Scholar Awards (4/12/15)

On Sunday, April 12, 2015, 74 NHS undergraduate students were honored at the NHS Academic Scholar Awards for their outstanding scholarship, leadership skills, and their promise for the future in their program. Students were nominated by faculty for this prestigious award were recognized among their peers, faculty and administration at the University Center in the Pikes Peak Ballroom.


Dr. Vicki Wilson Receives Centennial Nightingale Luminary Award for Advocacy (3/7/15)

June Leonard Nursing AwardVicki’s sustained advocacy work for underserved populations in our community is notable and has made a significant difference for so many.

Dr. Wilson is a candidate for a state Nightingale Luminary Award for Advocacy award on May 9, 2015 in Denver.

Click here for more information





Nurse Educators Conference Started by UNC Grad Still Going Strong 24 Years Later (June 2014)


Greeley Banker Switches to Nursing (June 2014)


Faces of 2014 Graduates: Hard Work and Strong Support (May 2014)


UNC Nursing Student appointed to the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) Resolutions Committe

Susan Hansen, a BSN Traditional degree student, has been appointed as a member of the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) Resolutions Committee for the 2014-2015 academic year. From over 60,000 members across the United States, 5 students are selected to be on the committee. The Resolutions Committee has numerous duties that include: receiving and then reviewing all resolutions submitted by NSNA constituents for presentation to the House of Delegates; ensuring workable implementation of resolutions; to name a few. Congratulations, Susan!


Nursing Faculty Member Elected Chair of NEXus (June 2014)

Dr. Janice Hayes, Professor of Nursing and Assistant Director of Graduate Programs, has been elected Chair of The Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus), an organization that expands capacity of doctoral nursing programs by offering courses through collaborations among member institutions.


Misson of Mercy - Alumna Interview: Laura Nemeth (1/16/14)

How far can a degree from UNC take you? After graduating from UNC’s School of Nursing, Laura Nemeth (BS-10) moved all the way across the country to work in the specialized field of pediatric critical care. But that was just the beginning of her journey. Read more


Doctor of Nursing Practice Student Awarded Health Professions Scholarship (Spring 2014)

Kimberly Koeltzow BSN, RN was honored recently at the 2014 Health Profession Scholars Banquet where she was awarded a Health Professions Scholarship.  She received this honor due to academic achievement, her history of public health service and her plans to provide primary care in a rural and/or underserved area of Colorado after graduation as a Doctor of Nursing Practice prepared family nurse practitioner. 
The scholarship is for 15,000 for two years for part-time study and is open to Health Professions students. Nurse Practitioners, Behavioral Health, and Physician Assistants are favored for 75% of the scholarships. The other 25% go to other Health fields.  This scholarship program is sponsored by The Colorado Health Foundation, the El Pomar Foundation and Colorado AHEC.  It is anticipated that over 114,000 rural and/or underserved individuals will be impacted by these scholars/year.  (View Photos)


Leonard Receives March of Dimes Excellence in Nursing Award (11/14/13)

June Leonard Nursing AwardTPN provider Yajuan “June” Leonard, APRN, was selected as the recipient of the March of Dimes Excellence in Nursing Award on March 7. The March of Dimes Excellence In Nursing Awards recognizes one Nebraska/Southwest Iowa nurse from all specialty areas for their contribution to the health of the community. Leonard was selected from 80 nominations in the mental health specialty for this award. Here is what was written on Leonard’s nomination:

June is simply put an amazing human being, a modern pioneer who immigrated from China to become first a nurse, then a nurse practitioner for family practice, and later a nurse practitioner for psychiatry. Not content with her achievements, she continued to study and has just finished her doctorate studies. For years, she has been a pillar in the delivery of mental health services in rural Nebraska. Tireless, compassionate, and caring – June has always found a way to be an outstanding mother and good wife. If you ponder what she has achieved, what she represents for rural Nebraska, and the kind of individual she is – you’ll have to agree that she is an iconic figure for all of us to look up to.

TPN provider Monica Flynn, APRN, was also nominated for the March of Dimes Excellence in Nursing Award in the mental health specialty. Her nomination noted that Flynn is always supportive, always caring, always inquisitive and that the quality of her work and her dedication are second to none. It also noted that Flynn has recently become what is the first psychiatric nurse practitioner to have privileges to work in a psychiatric hospital independently in Nebraska, and what she means to the field of nursing in rural Nebraska is immeasurable.

- The UPDATE (News from The Physician Newtork and CHI Nebraska), November 14, 2013


Academic Honors (9/29/2013)

HummelCentennial Area Health Education Center awarded a Health Professions scholarship to Kimberly Koeltzow, RN, BSN of Greeley. The scholarship was given through the Colorado Health Foundation. Koeltzow is a registered nurse with the Weld County Health Department. She will attend the University of Northern Colorado, where she will obtain her doctorate in nurse practitioner. She was one of 15 scholarship winners out of 160 applicants. She will receive $15,000 during a two-year period. - The Greeley Tribune

Over 130 School of Nursing Faculty and Students help staff 9Health Fair (4/28/2013)


School of Nursing celebrates its 50th Anniversary

On October 6, 2012 the School of Nursing celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Over 250 alumni and friends gathered in Gunter Hall to share stories and recognize the accomplishments with over 4200 alumni. In 1927, when UNC was still the Colorado State Teacher’s College, a small group of individual’s formed a program that prepared nurses to become educators. Later, in 1962, the University was approved to offer a Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The first five students graduated in 1965. Since its inception, the School of Nursing has grown to serve over 1000 students a year, in a variety of programs including a BSN (traditional and accelerated, second degree options), RN-BSN, Masters of Science degrees with Family Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Leader options, a Doctor of Nursing Practice program and a Ph.D. in Nursing Education program. Alumni of the program have been providing health care services locally, regionally and globally for over five decades, with leaders in education, policy, administration, clinical practice, scholarship and service. The School has maintained its excellent reputation through carefully designed curriculum, partnerships with clinical agencies across the region and outstanding education and scholarship.


Sigma Theta Tau International – Zeta Omicron Chapter celebrates its 30th Anniversary

In Spring 2012, the founders of the nursing honor society, Zeta Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International joined with current members and new inductees to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. Zeta Omicron President Mary Jo Stanley, Ph.D. shared the history and the accomplishments with over 100 guests. Dr. Phyllis Drennan, former Dean of Nursing and STTI member donated a diamond-studded Sigma pin to the chapter members.


National Institute of Nursing Education and Scholarship co-sponsored the International Nurse Educators Conference in the Rockies.

In July 2012, over 500 nurse educators from across the nation joined in Breckenridge, Colorado to discuss educational issues as clinical simulation, teaching strategies, evidenced-based practice, the nursing shortage, faculty issues and research in education. Twelve School of Nursing faculty members presented their scholarship, participated in educational offerings and certified nurse educator courses.


Fall 2012: First Post BSN-Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students admitted

In the fall of 2012, the School of Nursing admitted its first class of Post BSN-DNP students. The DNP is the highest level of clinical education offered for advanced practice nurses. Led by Dr. Rhonda Squires, PhD, APNR, FNP-BC Program Coordinator, twelve new students will participate in the program that prepares them as Family Nurse Practitioners and clinical experts. Students participate in clinical and theory courses, as well as individual preceptorship rotations of over 1000 hours in primary care health settings.

Fall 2012: First Masters of Science Clinical Nurse Leader program begins

In the fall 2012, the School of Nursing admitted its first class of the MS-Clinical Nurse Leader program. Under the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Dunemn, PhD, APRN, CMN-BC, 12 students were admitted and will be prepared to be advanced leaders at the micro-level of the health care system. Students receive advanced education in leadership, quality and safety management, evidenced-based practice and research. Students integrate their clinical rotations in health care systems, including acute care settings.


UNC Student Nurses Association very active in Community Outreach

On September 28, 2012 student nurses and faculty volunteers coordinated Greeley’s Project Connect. Project Connect provides free health care services to those without care in the Weld County region. Over 15 faculty and 100 students participated in this great event, providing screening, immunizations, breast examination and other health services.
On October 11, 2012: Nursing Students will volunteer in Operation Vortex an event in Boulder County which simulates an emergency management exercise with a tornado scenario. One hundred fifty "patients" are needed to evacuate from Longmont United Hospital to other Boulder County hospitals and student nurses will help make this event a success.


UNC Nursing School Aims for top of its class (6/29/12)

The director of the University of Northern Colorado's School of Nursing sees the shortage of nurses only getting worse in the decade ahead. "Unless some major changes take place, I don't know if we can fill the need in Colorado for nurses," she says. Not that she's waiting for a magic bullet. LaSala and the management team at UNC have been exploring every possible way to recruit and train the nurses of tomorrow, from expanded partnerships with health care providers to adding new degree programs to offering courses to upgrade the skills of working nurses. The effort has earned UNC's School of Nursing a reputation for responsiveness and innovative thinking. (MORE)

Nursing Professor Appointed to Banner Distinguished Professorship

HummelProfessor of Nursing Faye Hummel has been appointed the first Banner Health Endowed Distinguished Professor. The endowment created by Banner Health and North Colorado Medical Center totals $170,000 and is expected to grow to $500,000 in the next five years, allowing the program recruit and retain faculty members. Hummel, a longtime faculty member, also serves as a mentor to undergraduate students and is an active member of the community. The agreement creating the endowment also allows Banner Health employees with associate of applied science degrees to earn bachelor degrees in nursing from UNC through a hybrid program that provides online learning combined with learning at their place of work.

UNC's School of Nursing has been selected to be a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program (2/23/12)

UNC's School of Nursing has been selected to be a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, and Ann Nielsen, a student in the school's doctoral program and a faculty member at Oregon Health and Sciences University, has been selected as the Jonas Scholar to receive a $10,000 scholarship award. (MORE)


UPCEA's DLCoP Program of Excellence Award Announcement (2/22/12)

The University of Northern Colorado’s online program--“Ph.D. in Nursing Education”--has received an Honorable Mention in this year’s UPCEA DLCoP Program of Excellence Award judging. The committee entrusted with making this year’s selection had the following to say about the “Ph.D. in Nursing Education” program:

“The Ph.D. In Nursing Education is an exceptional online program that demonstrates excellence in all aspects of of its operation.  Developed to address a nationwide shortage of nursing faculty, this program shines from the admissions and orientation phase through the well organized and frequently assessed academic phase, all the way through the graduation and placement phase of the program.  This program deserves recognition for its effective application of distance learning technologies and pedagogy to achieve its high-level, educational purpose.”  

UNC School of Nursing Professor Recognized by Vietnamese Government (11/4/2011)

Faye Hummel, professor of Nursing at the University of Northern Colorado, was recently recognized by Vietnam's Ministry of Health for her leadership in establishing the first and only master's of science nursing program in the country. (MORE)

rachelOffering Hope for Women in Ghana

Rachel Rose Jackson cradles a young Ghanaian boy in her arms. He’s one of many who will receive medical care from the UNC nursing student through her Ghana nonprofit, the Kayayei Association. (MORE)


Growth in the UNC School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program (8/15/11)

In response to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) recommendations to move advanced practice nursing to a clinical doctorate level and the growing knowledge base required for advanced practice nurses (APNs), the School of Nursing began our post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online program fall 2010. There are currently 17 APN students in the process of obtaining a clinical doctorate that focuses on translating research into practice and thus improve clinical care. Variation in the type of APNs admitted to the program provides unique insight into current clinical care for the DNP students. The DNP’s clinically focused coursework includes Advanced Evidenced-Based Practice, Information Technology in Health Care, Epidemiology in Advanced Nursing Practice, Professional Practice and Healthcare Finance and Applied Genomics. The program is accepting applications now not only for our post Master’s DNP program but also for the new post-Bachelor’s of Nursing (BSN) to DNP program with a Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) emphasis for fall 2012. This hybrid (online and on campus classes) program will prepare FNPs at the highest clinical level.  In addition, DNP students in either educational track can take additional online coursework to prepare themselves as nursing educators.

UNC Student Wins National Scholarship (4/20/11)

A University of Northern Colorado nursing student is one of four national scholarship winners. Landau Uniforms, a health care apparel manufacturer, awarded Timothy Tobin an “Awarding the ‘Lives Made Better” scholarship, according to a news release from Landau. (MORE)

Partnership with Poudre Valley Health System Provides Funding for RN-BSN Program

Through a generous donation from the Poudre Valley Health System (PVHS), UNC School of Nursing will be taking its RN-BSN program directly to employees of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies for nurses who wish to advance their nursing education to the BSN level.  The hybrid RN-BSN program provides online courses and course meetings at the respective institutions to registered nurses (with associate of applied science degrees) actively practicing in health care environment. This hybrid model, along with instruction partnerships with nursing administration has proven to be an exciting new delivery method. The first class will be admitted in Fall 2010 and begins coursework in Spring 2011.

Northern Colorado Medical Center/Banner Health has pledged funds to support the first School of Nursing Endowed Professorship and support for RN-BSN Program

Named the Banner Health Endowed Nursing Professor, UNC is gifted with funds to support the first School of Nursing Endowed Professorship. This endowment allows the School to recruit and retain the highest level of nursing faculty during a period of a critical shortage of nursing faculty. The faculty resources help UNC expand nursing programs, including offering a RN-BSN program for Banner Health employees with associate of applied science degrees to obtain their BSN degree through a hybrid program providing course work online and at their employment settings. The first class will be admitted in Fall 2010 and begins coursework in Spring 2011.

Mother and Baby Simulation Comes to the School of Nursing

UNC School of Nursing recently received internal university funds to purchase the NOELLE Patient Simulator (a mother – baby). This simulator allows students to practice maternal –infant care, including real time labor activities. The School has integrated simulated learning systems into the curriculum, providing students the opportunity to prepare and practice in a safe, controlled laboratory environment.