Faculty Focus: Dr. Catie Chung, Director of Graduate Nursing Programs School of Nursing
Dr. Catie Chung’s life calling began long before she ever graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN).
It started when she was a little girl growing up in the Midwest where she spent countless hours in the hospital while her dad worked as a hospital administrator in Iowa and Minnesota.
“That early experience really exposed me to the hospital setting. I’ve always felt comfortable in hospitals,” she said.
Chung landed her first nursing job in 1996 for the University of Iowa Hospital System. She worked on the cardiology floor and saw how much responsibly fell to the nurses. It fueled her desire to become a nurse.
In 2004, with nearly a decade of nursing under her belt, she, her husband and their two children relocated to Las Vegas. She wanted more diversity in her life and career, and Southern Nevada provided that opportunity for her family.
She worked 12-hour shifts as a hospital nurse before falling in love with home health. Having the autonomy to treat her patients the way she wanted was what she thought nursing should look like.
“In home health, you’re helping to educate and support your patients and their families. You teach them how to start their own IV medications, or how to change their wound dressing. It was really my first experience in education,” she said.
In 2008, not long after having her third child, Chung went back to school to get her PhD. While enrolled in the program, she began teaching online at National University where she met Dr. Theresa Tarrant, the future director of the Touro University Nevada School of Nursing.
In 2015, Chung joined Touro’s School of Nursing as a fulltime faculty. She’s grown to love not just the School of Nursing, but the cohesiveness of the university.
“What I love so much about Touro is that we are still relatively young, so there are many opportunities to help build on our foundation,” she said.
Chung has done her part to help build on Touro’s foundation by starting the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program in 2015.
“We had the BSN and the DNP programs at the time, but we didn’t have that piece in the middle. I didn’t want students to leave for their master’s because I knew they wouldn’t come back for their doctorate,” she said.
For an entire year, Chung worked tirelessly to develop the MSN curriculum and courses, and worked closely with the Office of Admissions to develop course catalogs to make sure the entire program was in good shape.
Nine months after beginning this new endeavor, she hired Patricia Strobehn as assistant professor to help her develop the rest of the program. One year after she proposed the idea of starting the MSN program, the first cohort began.
Now, with 120 MSN students enrolled at Touro, Chung is proud of the impact she’s made to help nurses expand their education.
As Director of Graduate Nursing Programs, she is excited to see what the future holds for Touro as it works to educate the next generation of healthcare professionals.
Chung also serves as the Director of Touro’s affiliated group with the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). With Dr. Kelly Mecham as Deputy Director, Chung is able to offer JBI systematic review training on campus.
The JBI collaboration is the largest global collaboration to integrate evidence-based healthcare within a theory-informed model that brings together academic entities with hospitals and health systems.
“I was just always comfortable around healthcare, and a lot of that had to do growing up in the hospital setting. It’s like its own community,” she said. “That’s what I love about Touro too. We too, are our own community.”