Simpson University graduation features first class of nursing students

For Immediate Release


Roberta Iyamu (L), Hossana Terrado (C), and Oley Manivong (R)

REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University will honor 214 graduates during its April 27 outdoor spring commencement on campus. Among those are 20 men and women making history as the university’s founding class of nursing students.

Those students will receive their nursing pins at a special ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25, inside the Heritage Student Life Center on campus. The event includes a candlelight recitation of the Nightingale pledge by all nurses in attendance, and pins will be attached by a relative or friend of each student.

In 2011, Simpson launched a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, expanding its nursing educational options, which include a 16-month RN-BSN Track through the School of Adult Studies.

The program is bursting at the seams, with more than 80 students this semester and more than 90 expected in spring 2014. Modular buildings on campus have been converted into classrooms and lab space, where students work with four SIM manikins to get realistic, hands-on patient experience.

Simpson University partners with 12 north state healthcare agencies, and students do clinical rotations at many of these locations, including Mercy and Shasta Regional medical centers, public health facilities in Shasta and Tehama counties, and long-term care agencies.

Plans are underway for a state-of the-art Science and Nursing Center to be constructed near the center of campus for projected occupancy in fall 2014.

This year’s founding class of graduates includes 18 women and two men, most between the ages of 18 and 25. The majority is from Shasta County, and several are married. They hope to serve in a variety of settings, including trauma centers, community hospitals, and in overseas missions.

The graduates include Roberta Iyamu, 33, a Nigerian native and mother of two with a California State University degree who wants to pursue graduate education in health care; Hossana Terrado, 22, of Honolulu, who hopes to be a nurse in the military; and Oley Manivong, 33, of Redding, who wants to be an emergency room nurse.

“I just fell in love with the environment at Simpson,” Iyamu said. “I was looking for a Christian school to study nursing. The motivation and support—the difference is huge. It’s been a great journey.”

Terrado admits she had a “rocky beginning” as she started the nursing program, but said the program has challenged her in many ways. “The professors have definitely played a great role in where I am right now,” she said. “I’m ready to go and serve.”

Manivong, who was born in Laos, emphasized what he considers the “family aspect” of Simpson’s School of Nursing. “The instructors are great,” he said. “They know your strengths and weaknesses and just keep encouraging you.”

The BSN program prepares students to take the registered nursing exam for California licensure.

“There is a tremendous need for registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree,” said Jan Dinkel, dean of the School of Nursing. “Employers have told us about their concern over a nurse shortage, and in particular the need for bachelor’s-prepared registered nurses in acute-care hospitals and in public and community health areas.”

She noted that accessibility to higher education has been an issue for nurses in the north state—and a prime reason why Simpson University launched a nursing program.

Learn more about the BSN program and meet more members of the class of 2013.

Pictured Above: Roberta Iyamu (L), Hossana Terrado (C), and Oley Manivong (R)


Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson’s newest programs include degrees in nursing, biology, outdoor leadership, and master’s degrees in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. For more information, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737