Message from the Dean

Patsy Ruchala

Welcome to the Orvis School of Nursing (OSN) at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Founded in 1956, the OSN is the oldest school of nursing in the state and, in concert with the land grant mission of UNR, is dedicated to serving the people of Nevada through quality teaching, research, and service. The Orvis School of Nursing provides numerous opportunities for collaborative teaching, research and service with other disciplines in the University.

One of the foremost challenges in health care today is the shortage of qualified nurses in both clinical practice and nursing education. With the lowest registered nurse to population ratio in the nation, the nursing shortage is critical in Nevada. The Orvis School of Nursing is well positioned to ease the demand for BSN prepared nurses, advanced practice nurses and nurse educators through our quality academic programs. Our talented faculty accentuate the importance of community-based nursing care through their expertise and involvement in teaching, research and service.

Our undergraduate curriculum has a strong emphasis on health promotion across the life span and the care of individuals and families in changing and challenging health care environments. Graduates of the undergraduate program receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, and are prepared for general nursing practice in a variety of health care settings. For students who are already licensed as registered nurses but whose educational preparation is at the diploma or associate degree level, the OSN also offers an online RN to BSN degree program. Students in the RN to BSN program complete all of their nursing courses online along with clinical experiences and projects in their home communities.

To meet the increasing demands for advanced nursing practice in primary care settings, for clinical nursing leadership and for nurse educators, the Orvis School of Nursing offers graduate education leading to a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a choice of three specialty tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Nurse Educator (CNE). Postmaster's certificates are also available for the FNP, CNL and Nurse Educator tracks for nurses who have already completed a master's degree in another specialty.

Our newest program at the Orvis School of Nursing is at the doctoral level where we prepare nurses with the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.  The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a post-master's terminal practice degree for advanced practice nurses and nursing leaders in health care organizations.  Also, the BSN to DNP program offers three specialty tracks, including: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

The Orvis School of Nursing faculty, staff and students are dedicated to providing leadership in meeting the challenges and opportunities facing the nursing care needs of Nevada and the nation. I invite you to explore the opportunities we have to offer and to join us in the education and development of future nursing leaders.

Patsy L. Ruchala, DNSc, RN
Dean and Professor
Orvis School of Nursing