Dr. Ann StoltzPioneering co-founder of School of Nursing heads into retirement

The memories that build over the course of a 44-year career are numerous, but one that springs immediately to mind for Ann Stoltz, Phd, RN, CNL, Director of the School of Nursing, is commencement, when students cross the stage and you see the sheer joy of their accomplishment through their smiles.

“Every once in a while graduates say that they wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for you,” Dr. Stoltz said. “It’s happened for me more times at TUC than ever before.”

Dr. Stoltz began her road to teaching working nurses when she was approached by Provost Emeritus Dr. Marilyn Hopkins to help found TUC’s School of Nursing. Dr. Stoltz had previously help start nursing programs at Sacramento State and brought that experience with her to TUC.

At the time, the State of California had less than 50% of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, which was far-below the national recommendation. With Drs. Stoltz and Hopkins shifting the burgeoning nursing program to one focused on advanced degrees, that figure has steadily increased over time.

Dr. Stoltz also helped develop the Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner program, as well as advocated for nurses to be educated to take the Clinical Nurse Leader national exam, with an eye on improving patient health outcomes.

A major key to that, Dr. Stoltz said, was finding high-caliber faculty who were student-oriented.

“We have the best faculty,” she said. “They run the show and I have every confidence they will continue on splendidly long after I’m gone.”

The strong faculty facilitates  a sense of community among the students that empowers and motivates the community working nurses to push one another through to the end. In fact, the program boasts a 90-95% retention rate.

“We just really believe our students can succeed,” Dr. Stoltz said. “I believe they really feel that.”

Highlights:

  • BS from San Jose State
  • MS from Sacramento State
  • PhD from UC Davis
  • 31 presentations, with topics ranging from nursing consent laws, bullying and adolescent health
  • A dozen published articles, including Developmental Psychology and Journal of School Nursing
  • Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Association of California Nurse Leaders
  • American Public Health Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Omega Alpha chapter
  • Clinical Nurse Leader Association

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