Longtime nurse educator to lead UHV’s new nursing program

The University of Houston-Victoria has hired a director with nearly 40 years of professional health experience to oversee the development of the university’s new nursing program.

Cindy Hudson

Cindy Hudson, dean of the Langston University School of Nursing and Health Professions in Langston, Okla., will start her new job as UHV’s director of nursing on Jan. 4. In August, UHV will launch a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

“Under the guidance of Dr. Hudson, we will move into the next chapter of nursing at UHV,” said Jeffrey Cass, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Hudson’s vast experience in teaching, leading, practice and research will be a major asset as we shape a program that provides the most benefits to nurses in the Coastal Bend and beyond.”

The UH System Board of Regents and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board already have granted approval for the RN to BSN program in Victoria and online. The program will be housed in the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development.

Jeffrey Cass

Among Hudson’s duties will be selecting and supervising nursing faculty members, managing enrollment strategies for student recruitment, and overseeing the academic progression of students. She also will prepare for seeking accreditation and solicit external financial support, such as grants and endowed scholarships.

“Starting a new program has a lot of appeal,” Hudson said. “I like having the opportunity to get a feel for the Victoria community and find out what the needs are. I’m looking forward to working with the community to make UHV a destination for advanced nursing degrees.”

Hudson earned a BSN from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She obtained a master’s degree in health care administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant and a Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration from the University of Pittsburgh. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Nursing Science from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Hudson has worked as a staff nurse at a VA hospital, a community health nurse for a health department and an advanced practice nurse for a material and child health program. She also served as a community health nurse in the U.S. Army.

Her teaching career includes faculty positions at University of Texas at El Paso; Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.; University of Alabama in Huntsville; the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston; and Centerville University in Ohio. In 2011, she became director of nursing education at the Round Rock campus of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Fred Litton

“Dr. Hudson not only has outstanding academic credentials, but also a wealth of experience to draw from,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “She has administrative experience and has worked in various health-profession settings. She will be an exceptional addition to the university as we embark on building our nursing program.”

Hudson has served as dean and associate professor at Langston University since January 2014. She supervises a program with 120 students and 21 faculty members on two campuses that offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing, public health and health care administration. Her duties include being in charge of finances, recruiting and hiring, promoting strategies for faculty and student engagement, reviewing instructional assessment initiatives and enhancing partnerships with the community. Under her leadership, the school has made significant changes to the curriculum.

Hudson said her background as a dean, RN to BSN program director and public health educator will aid her in the new position.

“In public health, you work a lot with community partners,” she said. “In starting a new program, that’s an important piece. With UHV recently adding health studies and kinesiology, I can bridge across to work with those faculty members.”

The former UHV School of Nursing transitioned to UH in August. UH will no longer offer RN to BSN classes in Victoria when UHV’s new program begins. UH will continue to offer its Master of Science in Nursing degree in Victoria until UHV administrators can request and gain approval for its own graduate-level nursing program.

“The RN to BSN program is important to UHV, and we want to get it off on the right foot,” Litton said. “Dr. Hudson will be working in the spring and summer to prepare to welcome our first students. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

In her first months on the job, Hudson plans to talk with nursing officials at Victoria College, DeTar HealthCare System and Citizens Medical Center.

“I want to find out from their nurses what their needs are,” Hudson said. “In planning, there are different ways to set up an RN to BSN program. You want to set it up in a way that is going to meet the nurses’ needs.”

Hudson is a member of many nursing organizations and took part in numerous community service projects. She also is editor-in-chief of the Nursing: Research and Reviews journal.

Hudson said she enjoyed living in Texas before, and she’s pleased to be moving back.

“When I came to interview at UHV, I saw the genuineness and interest in meeting the needs of the community, “Hudson said. “The collaboration among the faculty and deans was appealing. I want to work in that environment.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro