DNP program alumni pictured with Dean Zhan, DNP Program Directors, and faculty. From left to right: Drs. Ana Barajas, Georgina Cabrera, Karen Bacosa, Theresa Brown, Nancy Jo Bush, Lin Zhan, Carol Cunningham, Harold Sarmiento, Hamida Khanmohammed, Kamala Gipson-McElroy, and Korie Bigbee.

In the beautiful Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, the annual Doctor of Nursing Practice student, faculty, and alumni welcome brunch launched the start of the new academic year. Incoming and continuing DNP students conversed and networked with Dean Lin Zhan, DNP program faculty, DNP alumni including the DNP Alumni Council members, and the Student Affairs staff. Several DNP program alumni returned to campus to serve as mentors for students in the incoming cohort and the students were introduced to their alumni mentors.

Dean Zhan delivered a warm welcome speech, underscoring the leadership and managerial roles that DNP nurses perform in improving health outcomes for patients on systems-based levels. She stressed the critical impact that DNP-prepared nurses have on health care and especially their roles in the future on improved patient outcomes. Dean Zhan, on behalf of the School of Nursing, expressed her sincerest appreciation for the faculty, staff, and alumni who work tirelessly to ensure the continued success of the program.

Dean Lin Zhan speaking at the DNP Welcome Breakfast

The DNP alumni and student mentorship program pairs incoming DNP students with continuing students or DNP alumni based on the incoming students’ clinical interests (topic of their DNP Scholarly Project), APRN clinical specialty, and/or the facility or organization where they work. The DNP alumni & student mentorship program is just one example of students’ and alumni’s dedication to guiding and supporting fellow DNP students and their continued investment and support of the School of Nursing. The DNP alumni and student mentorship is in its fifth year.

Members of the newly initiated DNP Alumni Council members also attended the event.

“As the president-elect of the UCLA DNP Alumni Council, one of my roles is to maintain relationships with healthcare organizations such as Kaiser Permanente (where I work) in promoting the DNP program and motivating these organizations to support their APRNs to pursue their DNP degree at UCLA. I am also here to mentor current APRN and DNP students and alumni," said Harold Sarmiento, a 2022 graduate of the DNP program. 

The School of Nursing and the DNP administration team thank all new, current, and past DNP students in taking the time to celebrate the upcoming academic year.