Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility

Today, transgender and nonbinary people around the world will recognize International Transgender Day of Visibility. With transgender visibility in the US at an all-time high in politics, media and sports, today is a day for allies and advocates to show up and show support.

Why is this important for nurses?

Nurses are uniquely positioned to advocate for and support these young people. Politics has no place here.

Transgender persons may avoid medical care for fear of being rejected. Many have been turned away by health care providers or had other negative experiences. Not all providers know how to deal with specialized transgender issues. Often, transgender health services are not covered by insurance. For these reasons, transgender persons may not be able to access the care they need.

Get yourself educated.

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MEPNs provide COVID vaccines for students, faculty, and staff

Last week, first-year MEPN students administered COVID-19 vaccinations to over 155 nursing students, faculty, and staff from the School of Nursing. Additionally, MEPNs are out in the San Diego community providing COVID-19 vaccinations for the 65 years of age and older population.

The MEPN Team is committed to safely engaging nursing faculty and students in the critical work underway to vaccinate the public against COVID-19.

In collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National League for Nursing (NLN) the MEPN Team is committed to ensuring MEPN students are fully engaged in vaccination efforts which include the following:

  • Commitment to actively participate in COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
  • Educate the public about the vaccines and what resources are available to caregivers and communities.
  • Advocate for early vaccination for nursing faculty, students, and others engaged in providing health services to the public.
  • Utilize nursing faculty and students to lead and support local efforts to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Address vaccine hesitancy through education and information sharing.”
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Congratulations Morgan!

Congratulations!  Kaiser Permanente, announced USD MEPN, Morgan Van Driest received a one-time $2,000.00 Deloras Jones RN award to be used for education related expenses.

Way to go, Morgan!

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MEPNs organize donations for those in need

This post is written by guest writer and 2nd year MEPN, Kayla Timmons

CRASH stands for Community Resources and Self-Help and is a residential, non-profit, MediCal funded substance use rehabilitation house located in Golden Hill. MEPN students and I have been going to CRASH every week for the last five months and have really gotten to know the residents as well as the staff and counselors. While some residents enter the site voluntarily, many are court-ordered and come to CRASH from jail or the streets with nothing except the clothes on their backs. When they get to CRASH, they are given the items that they need, such as clothing, a towel, pillow and blanket as well as personal hygiene items, all of which are generally donated.

A couple of months ago, one of the brothers took us on a tour of the entire house and we saw that the family only had one extra towel and a couple of extra heavier blankets in the linen closet. A majority of their towels were ripped, tattered and extremely worn. When this situation was raised during our OB class, Dr. Barger generously set up a donation drive with her church, Mission of San Diego Church. They donated bags and bags full of blankets, towels and winter jackets as well as hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and cleaning wipes. I was so shocked, grateful and humbled when I went to collect the donations and saw how many there were, especially knowing how thankful the brothers were going to be. My midsize SUV was completely full to the roof with bags and we filled another student’s truck!

We brought the donations to the house and after unloading my car, the brothers were astonished with the piles of blankets and towels that were all for them, even more so after we told them we had another truckload full of goodies! The brothers were all so appreciative and so excited to receive the donations, saying how much they were needed now with the temperature dropping. It was like Christmas morning for them.

One resident immediately saw a Scooby-Doo comforter in the pile and his eyes lit up. With the biggest smile on his face he said, “This is awesome!”, grabbed the comforter, wrapped it around himself and kept it on for a couple of hours that morning. It was so heartwarming to see that little kid inside of them come out, knowing that so many of them never really had a childhood.

There are only twenty brothers in the house that we serve, due to COVID-19, but they also have two other CRASH houses (a women’s house and another men’s house) with whom they will share the amazing donations, and I know they will be just as thankful with the holidays and winter coming up!

Many thanks to Dr. Barger and the Mission of San Diego Church!

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Welcome MEPN Class of 2022

We are at an unprecedented time in our history as nurses, as members of our community and our world, and as leaders. The Year 2020 opened with great promise as the World Health Organization launched the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. It also brought the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report, highlighting the intense need to commit more resources to the growth and continued excellence of our profession. Moreover, COVID-19 forced us to pivot and re-evaluate what the MEPN program would look like as we began the 2020-2021 academic year.

With every challenge comes an opportunity. As such, USD will continue to build a nursing workforce that can withstand the ever-increasing demands for care as world populations live longer, have increasing chronic health issues, and exposure to pandemics.

MEPN Class of 2022 was welcomed on campus to begin their journey into nursing, albeit small groups wearing face coverings, and practicing social distancing.

Congratulations Class of 2022. We look forward to sharing this journey with all of you. 

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Diversity Club discusses racism as a public health crisis

The Diversity Club feels the American Nursing Association position “racism is a longstanding public health crisis in our nation that needs our immediate attention as nurses” is a call to act in providing our fellow students and faculty a unique educational opportunity.

Todd Carson, Psy.D. is a practicing counselor at SDSU who lectures on multiculturalism, diversity, and privilege in our society presented to Diversity Club attendees June 24th, via Zoom, on the topic of “Privilege in the Fabric of America”, a brief exploration of oppressive systems and how they are perpetuated followed.

Diversity Club Officers for 2020/2021 Academic Year are the following


Logan Weeks is a 2nd-year MEPN student at the University of San Diego. This year, Logan will be working as the GNSA VP and the Diversity Club President. Logan received his bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology and Public Health from Oregon State University in 2018. Logan’s interest in the field of nursing stems from previous experience participating in public health research related to HIV, as well as interning for a hypertension management program in Haiti. Prior to beginning the MEPN program, Logan worked for the State of Oregon in the Child Protective Services Department.  Logan was born and raised in Tillamook, Oregon, located on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Logan’s career goals are to become a Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Educator. Outside of school, he spends his time surfing, snowboarding, and traveling.

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Logan Weeks – President


​Paige Cohune is a second-year nursing student at the University of San Diego receiving her master’s in nursing. She is Vice President of the Diversity Club for the Hahn School of Nursing. Paige graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Paige’s passion for nursing arises from her previous experience working at a pediatrician’s office and volunteering in a Level III NICU during her undergraduate experience. She values relationships and connecting with patients on a professional and interpersonal level. Paige was raised in San Luis Obispo, California where she had to opportunity to surf and hike during her downtime. She has the intention of becoming a pediatric nurse and hopes to utilize her critical thinking skills, past experience working with the pediatric population, and clinical skills to enhance patient outcomes by providing the highest quality of patient care.

Paige Cohune -Vice President


Emma Curran is a 2nd-year MEPN student at the University of San Diego. Emma received her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Public Policy from UC Berkeley in 2010.  After college, Emma began a career in equine therapy geared towards children with physical and cognitive disabilities. Emma was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her upbringing in the South has nurtured a passion for public health, social justice, and healthcare equity. In her time outside of school, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Emma Curran – Secretary


Natalie Winterburn is a second year MEPN student attending the University of San Diego. While in the pursuance of her Master’s Degree in the field of Nursing, Natalie is impassioned to make a significant impact while serving as Treasurer on the Board of the Diversity Club. Natalie’s background in Kinesiology, and various aspects of the healthcare arena make her confident that this venture will set a strong foundation to which she can draw upon as she advances through her professional endeavors. It is with passion, determination and a heart of compassion that Natalie wishes to impact the healthcare industry and the lives of those around her.

Natalie Winterburn – Treasurer


Sabrina Tirador is a second year MEPN student at the University of San Diego. Sabrina will represent the Diversity Club this year as the Media Relations chair. Sabrina will be a double alumni, as she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance from the University of San Diego in 2018. Sabrina has four years of experience teaching fitness classes including Orangetheory and spin. During her time working in the fitness industry it became apparent how passionate she was about health, well-being and the human body. This translated over perfectly to the career of nursing. Sabrina is from Orange County, California. Outside of school, she spends her time working out, playing guitar, and spending time with family and friends!

Sabrina Tirador – Media Relations
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Congratulations MEPN Class of 2020

Dear MEPN Class of 2020,

You have accomplished something exceptional, and you should be very proud.

So many people are going to be blessed, not only because of what you have studied, learned and experienced, but because of your devotion to making the world a better place, one patient at a time.


Posted in Class of 2020, Getting your first nursing job, Hahn School of Nursing, University of San Diego, What is a MEPN program? | 1 Comment

MEPN student reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic

As a 2nd year MEPN student, and as an employee at one of SDs largest hospitals, it has been a challenging time during this pandemic.  We have all had major disruptions to our daily life, and changes to our academic expectations, normal ways of studying/learning, and policies and procedures in the workplace.  There is also a general sense of uncertainty pervading our communities, and society.  That said, it has also been exceedingly remarkable to see true leadership in action.  

The transparency and proactive initiative the MEPN admin and faculty have demonstrated is inspiring.  They have placed our education and success at the forefront of their efforts, while also advocating for us to remain in the community to assist with crisis relief.  Also, our hospitals and clinics in SD have really come through for their patients, and made great efforts to respond appropriately to the pandemic—even as the landscape has been shifting every day.  This is quite a time to be entering the profession of nursing! 

Now more than ever, it is clear that we have been training in the knowledge and clinical practice needed to meet the challenges of our time.  I am so thankful for the admin and faculty of the MEPN program, for my classmates and coworkers coming together to support each other, and for the health care leaders in SD county. 

This crisis has been challenging—but it has also revealed the leadership, commitment, and compassionate spirit that our patients need.  Thank you all so much.

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What MEPNs need to know today about COVID-19

Dear MEPNs ,

We hope you and your families are staying well and that you are getting adjusted to the ‘Stay at Home’ orders. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19.

The MEPN Team


Around the world and across the country, leaders are looking for how and when to lift the lockdown. Citizens are longing to get back to their normal lives. Nevertheless, as with treating the virus itself, there is no simple solution:

What is going on in other countries?


We all want an end in sight. But, if restarting America means that some people will die, what’s the exit strategy?

The answer is, of course, uncertain. Here are a few unknowns about the virus that, if solved, could give us a better idea:

What can we learn from history?


Despite initial hopes that the U.S. could open as early as Easter weekend, this has proven to be unrealistic. However, teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the CDC have created a public health strategy to combat COVID-19 and re-open parts of the country.

  • The plan does not give dates for reopening’s, but it specifies this will not happen before May 1.
  • The plan outlines three phases:
    • Until May 1: Prepare the nation to reopen with a national communication campaign and community readiness assessment.
    • Through May 15: Ramp up manufacturing of testing kits and personal protective equipment and increase emergency funding.
    • After May 15: Begin staged reopenings, depending on local conditions.


The best path forward is a cautious one. Re-opening some parts of the country before the end of April would go against guidelines in their current form.

  • Recommendation: Providers should continue to advise all patients to stay at home, and encourage patients to exercise caution not only for their own health and safety, but also of those around them.

In the end, some cities and states may recover sooner than others cities.

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“Give me your tired, your poor…”

This post is written by guest writer and MEPN student, Matt Finley

“Give me your tired, your poor….” These iconic words have been the promise of hope that has brought immigrants to America for over 200 years. Just a few miles south of San Diego’s thriving downtown, a group of people waits for that promise to be fulfilled. They have made the best of their cramped living spaces and inadequate running water, but the stress of the ordeal is written all over their faces. Their living conditions have made them more susceptible to lice, scabies, and other diseases. Yet they drive on for the hope of a better future.  

Julia Curtiss looks on as Natalia Melendez screens for lice while Professor Mata and Dr Marsh provide instruction
Nathalia Melendez provided lice treatment for many children and parents

Several students and faculty from the Hahn School of Nursing (HSON) spent some time with these resilient people at the Embajadores de Jesus Refugee shelter. Working in collaboration with the Refugee Health Alliance (RFA), HSON students and faculty provided care at the shelter.

Matt Finley and research associate, Allison Marsh discuss solutions for clean water with the pastor and asylum seekers

The HSON volunteers primarily provided nursing care with lice screenings and treatment. The students and faculty spent time getting to know the strong members of this community while providing treatment. Amazingly despite the living conditions, not one person complained. Instead, they offered to feed our group and share what little they had. It was both heartbreaking and encouraging to see that despite their condition, they still choose to be generous. We were thankful we were able restore basic comfort to over 35 children and several adults. However, as we rode away down the washed-out dirt road, we knew the work here is just beginning.

students and faculty walking across the border

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