Message from the Dean

Dean Debra ThomasFounded in 1956, the Orvis School of Nursing took its first class of students in 1957. Our mission, then and now, is to prepare students to be caring and competent health professionals. This distinguished legacy comes with the responsibility to educate nurses to embrace the challenges of an ever changing health-care environment. We meet this mission with a continual focus on what we do and openness to opportunities and challenges. The goal of the OSN faculty is to facilitate learning, provide innovative instruction, advance nursing knowledge through research and provide service to the community in an effort to improve the health and well-being of Nevadans. The Orvis School of Nursing provides opportunities for collaborative teaching, research and service with other disciplines and professions within the University and globally.

Nevada has the lowest RN to population ratio in the nation. The Orvis School of Nursing is positioned to help meet the demand for BSN prepared nurses, advanced practice nurses and nurse educators through our academic programs.

Our undergraduate programs include a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and an Accelerated Second Degree BSN. Graduates of these programs are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and prepared to enter the nursing workforce in a variety of settings. We also have a completely online RN to BSN degree program available so that nurses from rural and underserved areas can complete their BSN in their home communities.

The Orvis School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a choice of the following specialty tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (PACNP), MSN Generalist and Nurse Educator (CNE). Postmaster's certificates are also offered for all specialties for nurses who have already completed a master's degree in another specialty.

We also offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The DNP is a post-master's terminal practice degree for advanced practice nurses and nursing leaders in health care organizations. The BSN to DNP program offers five specialty tracks, including: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner for nurses without a prior MSN.

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.

Debera J. Thomas, DNS, RN, ANP/FNP
Dean and Professor
Orvis School of Nursing