A MESSAGE FROM OUR NURSING LEADERS
THANK YOU, NURSES
International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the achievements of women and raises awareness for gender equality. Today and every day, WCUI is celebrating the hundreds of WCUI faculty, staff, students, and alumni that identify as women who have made such a significant impact on our education and healthcare system during the pandemic.
WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing was co-founded over 20 years ago by Myra Chason, BS, BSN, RDMS, a well-known diagnostic medical sonography instructor, and Dr. Neville Smith, M.D., a board-certified radiologist. Myra Chason and Dr. Neville Smith shared one passion and goal, to develop a college that provided the highest quality sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nursing education to our communities. In the beginnings of WCUI, Myra took on teaching lecture and lab courses, helping enroll new students, developing curriculum, all while running a new college in Beverly Hills, California.
Today, she leads three WCUI campuses, now in Los Angeles, California, Ontario, California, and Phoenix Arizona. Program offerings have grown, with eight Bachelors, Associates, and diploma programs, with more on the way. In addition, the curriculum continues to adapt to changes in the industry to support our student’s career goals.
Women at WCUI
Every year WCUI is expanding, with additions of new Directors, educators, and staff to support our growth. As of March 2021, 61% of our faculty and staff members at all three WCUI campuses identify as female. Our female-identifying team members are in a range of roles at the corporate and campus level. Including, Campus Directors, Director of Education, Program Directors, Corporate Leaders, Department Directors, Instructors, and more.
According to our September 2020 student population report, 81% of students attending all three WCUI campuses at that time identified as female. Of that 81 percent, 73% identified as a Person of Color (POC). Our female-identifying students were enrolled in full-range of programs including:
- Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography,
- Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Science in Cardiovascular Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Magnetic Resonance Imaging,
- Vocational Nursing,
- Practical Nursing,
- and the Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Short Diploma Program.
Women in Sonographer, MRI, and Nursing Roles
According to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020:
- 84% of employed Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were women,
- 71.9% of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians were women,
- 58.8% of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists were women,
- and 90% of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN & LVN) were women.
Women are dominating the healthcare field. They are the ones on the frontlines protecting our families and friends while risking their own health.
We Support You
WCUI is celebrating these women. They are our WCUI Family and they have made a significant impact on WCUI’s education and our healthcare system. We stand with them and support them as we work towards a society of gender equality and recognize their strength. We will continue to work hard to produce a welcome and equal environment for them, to lift them up towards their goals, and break those glass ceilings.
We also want to recognize all the amazing women in the healthcare field for the supportive care they’ve provided our communities through the pandemic. Women are on the frontlines making a significant impact on the health and minds of our communities. From sonographers to nurses to MRI technologists, to educators, to leaders, and everything in between. We applaud and support the women in our community for their talents, diversity, leadership, and dedication to education and healthcare.
We invite everyone to celebrate these women. Support their career and passion, stand up for them to forge a gender-equal world.
Dr. Neville C. W. Smith was a Board Certified Radiologist, Co-Founder of WCUI, and Medical Director of Ultrasound Institute Medical Group (UIMG). His contributions and dedication to the healthcare field, have shaped and guided WCUI into the school and community we are today. Although today we mourn the loss of such an influential figure 11 years ago today, we also remember the amazing work he put into his community, education, and our students, staff, and faculty.
Who Was Dr. Neville Smith
(Pictured above, Dr. Neville Smith WCUI Co-Founder)
Dr. Neville Smith was dedicated to enhancing quality education in the art and science of medical sonography, MRI, and nursing. In 1998, Dr. Smith and fellow co-founder Myra Chason, BS, BSN, RDMS, a well-known diagnostic medical sonography instructor, began WCUI in Beverly Hills, California. WCUI began as a medical imaging college specializing in ultrasound and MRI with the goal of providing advanced and high-quality education to the next generation of medical imaging professionals. With the support of a well-renowned staff and faculty from the community, Dr. Smith, and Myra Chason initiated the new training style of “edutaining” that is still in place in our programs today! This particular teaching style blended education & entertainment, which allows the learning process to be more entertaining, while students still learn the complex subject matter, skills, and protocols needed in the demanding medical field. In addition to understanding the important need of having an institution specializing in medical imaging, Dr. Smith recognized the great need for a top-quality nursing program as well. This led to the expansion of a truly outstanding nursing department that is still growing today!
Along with the development of WCUI, Dr. Neville Smith opened the Ultrasound Institute Medical Group (UIMG), a low-cost ultrasound health center, which caters to patients who do not have medical insurance. Today, the clinic continues to offer low-cost diagnostic imaging to patients in need.
Dr. Neville Smith’s mission continues to live on in WCUI’s journey and development. Today, WCUI has three campuses located in Los Angeles, California, Ontario, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. We offer nine programs and counting, ranging from two Bachelor of Science degree programs in Sonography, three Academic Associate of Science degree programs in Sonography and MRI, to five diploma programs in Pediatric Echocardiography, MRI, Vocational and Practical Nursing. And our WCUI Smith Library at each location honors his commitment to learning.
We honor his memory and his contributions to WCUI in maintaining quality education, curriculum innovation, and an effective course of clinical rotations. WCUI is in perpetual gratitude for having been a part of his vision which still is viable today.
WCUI is hosting another virtual CME seminar designed to help you become a more effective preceptor. Whether you are currently a preceptor or interested in learning more about how a preceptor can impact education and the future of healthcare, this seminar is a great opportunity to connect and learn from experts in the field!
Join us on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 5:30 pm PST on Zoom as WCUI Externship Director, Jason Grabham RDCS, FASE, and owner of Sounds Sports Imaging and WCUI CME Director, Malka Stromer, MEd, BSc, RDMS, CRGS will lead a virtual seminar on becoming a more effective preceptor.
As a preceptor, it is critical to have a strong relationship with the students you take on during externship. In order to connect with the many new generations entering the field, preceptors must also continue to improve their communication skills, in the same manner, that we adapt to changes or new technology in the industry. In the Student Externship Preceptor Virtual Seminar, we will train attendees in the skills needed to be an effective preceptor through communication, conflict resolution, and building solid relationships with students and the school. In addition, the seminar is approved by SDMS and attendees will receive 2 CME credits for participating.
Register to save your spot today!
CME COURSE DETAILS:
- When: Thursday, September 24th at 5:30 pm PST
- Topic: Student Externship Preceptor Virtual Seminar
- CME credits: 2 SDMS credits
- Register Here: https://wcui.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrceqprzMuEtM9Wxwd4poF4U24wuPcvKUH
Meet the Speakers
Jason Grabham, RDCS, FASE
Jason Grabham is a cardiac sonographer registered in pediatric, fetal, and adult echocardiography. He began his career at the University of Kentucky Medical Center and has spent nearly 30 years in the field. Jason’s clinical experience includes leading large, nationally ranked echocardiography programs including Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Cincinnati Children’s/Kentucky Children’s Joint Heart Program in Lexington.
Throughout his career, Jason has focused heavily on programmatic and community outreach development, quality improvement, and sharing his passion for delivering the highest quality imaging for patients with congenital heart disease. He is also a reviewer for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for pediatric and fetal laboratories and is a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography.
Jason has shifted his passion from delivering quality patient care into helping to develop and inspire the next wave of sonographers in his new role as Director of Externship for WCUI’s Phoenix campus.
Malka Stromer, MEd, BSc, RDMS, CRGS
Malka Stromer is a registered diagnostic medical sonographer whose clinical skills were fostered at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai’s Center of Excellence in Obstetrical Ultrasound, in Toronto, Canada. Malka has spent the past 15 years of her career sharing her enthusiasm for sonography as a professor, first at her alma mater, Mohawk College (the collaborative Mohawk-McMaster Institute for Applied Health Sciences), and then at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master’s of Education from York University in Toronto, Canada.
Malka has spoken at various professional events and educational institutions on topics including sonography of the bowel and her research in the ethics of obstetrical ultrasound. She has authored a chapter in a sonography text, and has won a research award through the SDMS, and most recently the John and Suanne Rouche Excellence Award through the League for Innovation in the Community Colleges.
Malka is the owner of Sound Sports Imaging, LLC, and together with her colleague Jeannine Noble, now teaches POCUS and MSK ultrasound to health care professionals around the world. In addition, Malka has been leading the CME development program as the newest WCUI CME Director. This year the CMEs have transitioned to an online format with opportunities to join via live webinar or by registering for asynchronous courses. To learn more and register for our current list of asynchronous CME courses fill out the form here: WCUI CME Course Enrollment Form or email CME@wcui.edu
WCUI is launching a Practical Nursing program that has been built for the next generation of Arizona Practical Nurses! In March, WCUI School of Nursing completed the approval process to offer a Practical Nursing diploma program at our Phoenix, Arizona campus. We are now accepting applications for an anticipated July 2020 start at our new campus in Midtown Phoenix.
“The spread of COVID-19 is demonstrating the need for a strong nursing workforce more than any event in recent history.” Myra Chason, BSN, CEO and Owner of WCUI stated. “WCUI School of Nursing is excited to introduce the Practical Nursing Program and classes will start in July of this year. Phoenix needs Practical Nurses and we are proud to provide their education.”
What is the WCUI Practical Nursing Program?
The WCUI Practical Nursing program is a 12-month, 3 day a week diploma program that will prepare students to advance their nursing career and meet the growing demand for nurses in the field. The program combines theory, technical skill, biology, pharmacology, simulation labs, NCLEX preparation, and off-site clinical experiences to provide students with the skills and competencies they need to start their career as a Practical Nurse.
The Practical Nursing program is a great opportunity for those who have healthcare experience as a CNA/ LNA, MA, EMS, or more and are looking to further their healthcare journey in the nursing field.
To learn more about WCUI School of Nursing’s program and admissions requirements for the Practical Nursing program, please visit: https://nursing.wcui.edu/practical-nursing-program/
- Our Practical Nursing program has been approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing (AZBN).
- Flexible schedules to fit any lifestyle. Classes and labs are held 3 days a week to help you maintain the work/life balance you need while you pursue a career in nursing.
- Gain knowledge from experienced nursing professionals.
- Our Practical Nursing program prepares you to sit for the NCLEX exam, which is required to enter the workforce as an LPN.
- Receive hands-on experience in simulation lab and off-site clinical sites while completing the program.
WCUI School of Nursing Programs
The Practical Nursing program joins WCUI School of Nursing’s Vocational Nursing program offered at our California campuses in Los Angeles and Ontario. Our California Vocational Nursing program has produced successful graduates for almost 10 years! WCUI’s Vocational Nursing program’s current California NCLEX-PN pass rate is 86.67% at our LA campus and 89.47% for the Ontario campus. To learn more about the WCUI School of Nursing and all our nursing programs, please visit nursing.wcui.edu
To see the full press release about WCUI’s brand new Practical Nursing program, follow the link here: LPN in AZ Press Release
A big congratulations are in order for our California campus nursing students! The current California NCLEX Pass Rates at our Ontario campus is 89.47% and 86.67% at our Los Angeles campus! We are so proud of our nursing students and all the hard work they put into their education to be the best nurses they can be.
THANK YOU HEALTHCARE HEROES
With the upcoming nursing shortage and the sudden pandemic our world is battling, nurses are as critical as ever to healthcare. The care and resilience nurses at all levels provide our friends and family inspires us daily. Nurses are standing alongside doctors, technologists, and other medical professionals taking care of our communities. We want to thank all of our nurses out there for keeping us safe while risking their own health. Whether you are a WCUI School of Nursing LVN or not, we stay home for you!
OUR WORLD NEEDS NURSES
If you have ever considered a career as a nurse, now is the time to start. Our WCUI Vocational Nursing program is now available online through the COVID-19 crisis so you can pursue a nursing career while you stay safe at home. By combining the use of virtual simulation and interactive online lectures, we are able to provide the education you expect from WCUI School of Nursing.
NCLEX-PN reviews are integrated during classes at each level of the program* to help you prepare for the NCLEX exam after graduation. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the material and testing format of the NCLEX exam and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Our nursing faculty is always on-hand to provide further NCLEX reviews and study assistance throughout the VN program to help our nursing students succeed.
Are you interested in becoming a licensed vocational nurse? We are currently enrolling at our Los Angeles and Ontario campuses for the Summer term start in June 2020! Our admissions team is ready to assist you through the process and figure out if our vocational nursing program is the right move for your healthcare career. Virtual Admissions Interviews are available! Give us a call at (888)315-4993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on prepping for the NCLEX exam visit:
For more information on the licensure requirements in California: https://www.nursinglicensure.org/state/nursing-license-california.html
* Current NCLEX Quarter Rates up through Qtr4 2019. Please see www.bvnpt.ca.gov for per campus rates.
* WCUI’s Vocational Nursing program only leads to licensure in the State of California.
In 2013, 23.6% of the nursing population identified as black or African-American, amounting to the second-largest racial/ethnic population in the nursing community. And about 279,600 RNs and 162,800 LPN/LVNs identified as black or African-American. Thanks to the trailblazers who have fought against discrimination and supported an equal-opportunity for women and men of all colors to gain an education and make a difference as a nurse, the number of African-American nurses continues to grow. In honor of Black History Month, we recognize just a few of the many African-American leaders who have changed the nursing world, healthcare, and our society.
Hazel W. Johnson-Brown
As a child, Hazel aspired to become a nurse and first applied to the Chester School of Nursing but was denied admission because she was African-American. However, she continued to pursue her nursing dreams and trained and graduated from the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing in New York. Hazel continued to flourish in her career earning her nursing bachelor’s degree from the Harlem Hospital School of nursing, serving in the US Army in Japan and Korea training nurses headed to the front lines of the Vietnam War, and becoming the first black woman to achieve the ranking of brigadier general and leading the US Army Nurse Corps.
Throughout her life and career, Hazel W Johnson-Brown continued to focus on expanding her education eventually earning her masters degree and a Ph.D. in educational administration.
To learn more about Hazel W. Johnson-Brown visit: https://www.awfdn.org/trailblazers/brig-gen-hazel-johnson-brown/
Estelle Massey Osborne
Estelle Massey Osborne was the first African-American woman to earn her masters in nursing. She dedicated her career to ending discrimination in society and in the national nursing organizations. During the 1940s, she helped expand the number of nursing schools accepting black students and led the lifting of the color ban in the US Navy and Army. She later became the first African-American faculty member at New York University and continued to inspire her students and fight for nurse’s rights. Today, the Estelle Massey Osborne scholarship helps support nurses who want to follow in her footsteps and earn their masters in nursing.
Betty Smith Williams
Betty Smith Williams, Dr.PH, MN, MSN, RN, FAAN became the first African-American student to earn her nursing credentials from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the first African-American individual to teach at a higher education institution in California. Williams recognized the need to provide a community to unite African-American nurses and focus on health issues that were particularly acute in minority communities. She founded the Council of Black Nurses in Los Angeles, helped establish the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) in 1971, and the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, Inc. (NCEMNA). She served as NBNA president from 1995 to 1999 and has remained active in the organization through the decades. She served as a Professor at Mount Saint Mary’s College, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and California State University Long Beach; Assistant Dean of UCLA School of Nursing; Dean & Professor at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Nursing; and Founding Dean of American University of Health Sciences School of Nursing,
Throughout her career, she has fought to provide a voice for the African-American community and improve healthcare for African-Americans across the country.
To learn more about Betty Smith Williams please visit:
Goldie D. Brangman
Goldie D. Brangman, CRNA, MEd, MBA is the first and only African American president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetics. Goldie was also a critical part of the surgical team that saved Martin Luther King Jr.’s life after he was stabbed during an assassination attempt in 1958. After convincing then New York Governor Averill Harriman to not risk Martin Luther King Jr.’s life by moving him to a different hospital, Harlem Hospital Chief of Surgery, Dr. Maynard and his team were chosen to begin the complex surgery to save MLK Jr’s life. Goldie Brangman was a part of that team and was responsible for physically operating the breathing bag that kept King alive during surgery. Once the letter opener used to stab Martin Luther King Jr. was removed, Brangman was the nurse anesthetist to finish Dr. King’s anesthetic.
After the life-saving operation, Goldie Brangman remained at Harlem Hospital for another 45 years and continued on to have a successful career including serving as the CRNA AANA President from 1973-74, volunteering for the American Red Cross at the age of 100 years old and is an active member of AANA.
To learn more about Goldie D. Brangman please visit: https://nurse.org/articles/nurse-anesthetist-crna-goldie-brangman-saved-MLK/
Leaders like, Hazel Johnson-Brown, Estelle Osborne, Betty Williams, and Goldie Brangman have made a significant difference in bettering the nursing field and our society in America. We are inspired by their efforts to fight against adversity and creating an environment of equal opportunity for persons of all races and colors. To learn more about other African-American leaders in the Nursing world, see Nurse.org’s latest blog: https://nurse.org/articles/black-history-month-nursing-leaders/