Campus: San Diego -- September 21, 2006

New SDSU School of Nursing Director Eager to Tackle Local Nursing Shortage

Catherine Todero, Ph.D., R.N., San Diego State University's new director of its School of Nursing, aims to dramatically increase the program's enrollment over the next few years to help address a critical shortage of nurses in the region and state.

SDSU's School of Nursing, which has more than 700 students, already is the region's largest nursing school and has implemented innovative solutions to help expand nursing enrollment. In 2000 it launched Nurses Now, a faculty-expanding partnership with many local hospitals and health care organizations that has helped the school graduate an additional 300 students since its inception. Todero wants to build on successful programs like Nurses Now, secure additional funding from the California State University Chancellor's Office, and seek other ways to further expand the school's capacity.

"Our Nurses Now partners have played an instrumental role in helping us enroll and educate more nurses," Todero said. "We plan to seek additional resources and creative solutions so we can graduate even more nurses with baccalaureate and advanced degrees and put them to work in San Diego. This will become more important in years ahead as the state's population ages and needs more nursing services."

Todero, who began leading the region's largest nursing program this semester, comes from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, where she served as associate dean since 1988. Her duties there included running undergraduate nursing programs across four University of Nebraska campuses, as well as helping to develop graduate-level curricula.

At SDSU, Todero is responsible for developing the school's curriculum and procuring funds for research and programmatic innovation. She said she aims to create an environment at SDSU where new ideas can be launched and supported.

Todero said she was attracted to the university because of its faculty and students and the reputation of the school's bachelor's degree program. She also wants to expand the school's collaboration with local health care providers and advance research within the discipline.

"Catherine is full of innovative ideas and technical savvy," said Marilyn Newhoff, dean of SDSU's College of Health and Human Services."With her leadership, we are really going to see some exciting things happen."

Todero has a track record for successful fund raising. At the University of Nebraska, she received grants to accelerate and expand undergraduate nursing education through distance learning and virtual and simulation learning techniques. She also founded and directed the Mobile Nursing Center, which continues to provide health care outreach to underserved communities across the state of Nebraska.

Todero replaces Patricia Wahl, who retired earlier this year after running the program since 1991.

Contact: Gina Speciale, Media Relations Specialist, (619) 594-4563

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