Paulina Van

Paulina Van

Professor PhD, RN, CNE

Programs and Courses Taught

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner

N720 DNP Project Emphasis, N721 DNP Project Development, N723 DNP Project Presentation, N730L DNP Project Residency, N772 DNP Nursing & Healthcare Science for ANP, GENED101 Foundations of Death, Dying, & Bereavement

About Me

Dr. Paulina Van entered academia after spending over twenty years in various executive-level positions in acute care, home care, and public health. She has held faculty or administrative positions in the Schools of Nursing at Samuel Merritt University (current), the University of San Francisco, the University of California, San Francisco, and California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) teaching at the doctoral, masters, and baccalaureate levels. In 2014 she retired as Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at CSUEB and is currently working as a professor and researcher at Samuel Merritt University. 


Dr. Van graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from the University of San Francisco. She earned a Master's degree in Nursing Administration, a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of California, San Francisco. She has also earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) from the National League for Nursing. Dr. Van holds five additional distinguished certifications: Certified Instructor, Online Teaching & Learning (California State University, East Bay), Certified Mediator (The Center for Narrative and Discursive Practice), Reiki Master, HeartMath® Certified Trainer (HeartMath Institute), and Caritas® Coach (Watson Caring Science Institute).

Teaching Interests

Dr. Van chaired twelve DNP Project Committees between 2015-2020. She continues to support DNP students in this role as well as teach various DNP theory courses. In the  Dr. Van also teaches in nursing prelicensure and RN to BSN programs.  Her course load includes theory courses in research, leadership, introduction to nursing, and death and dying and clinical courses in community/mental health and senior synthesis/capstone. In her quest to continue to bring the latest technological advances to student learning activities, she constructed [supported by instructional designers] various multimedia projects using interactive visuals and quality audio. These learning objects were incorporated into selected graduate or undergraduate nursing research, education innovation, leadership, and general education courses.

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Van is passionate about her program of research, which began in 1996 and is focused on the wide range of issues concerning women and pregnancy loss. This passion began with a focus on African American women and has extended to diverse women in the US and internationally in Mexico and Spain. Besides publications and presentations, a significant contribution to practice has been her development and dissemination of an emerging theoretical Model of Coping after Pregnancy Loss for Diverse Women. She has presented papers on these topics in the United States Canada, Columbia, Egypt, England, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and Thailand to multidisciplinary audiences of health care professionals. Dr. Van earned research funding awards from various organizations, including the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, Johnsons & Johnson, Sigma Theta Tau, University of California, San Francisco. Beginning in 2014, Dr. Van introduced meditation and mindfulness activities to nursing students during on-ground class sessions to positively influence their learning experiences and overall academic performance. The results were so powerful that in 2017 she created online modules to provide similar experiences to doctoral students. The results of her initial work were recently published, and results from the online project are being developed for publication. Dr. Van’s most recent grant award is for the HRSA, Nursing Education Opportunity Program, Nursing Workforce Diversity Program (#1 D19HP31820-01-00). This 3- year grant award ($1,500,000.00)  provides for the recruitment, retention, and graduation of African American and Latino nursing students to enhance the number of registered nurses available to work in the diverse San Francisco/Bay Area communities. The various interventions are evidence-based and delivered by a diverse team of interdisciplinary professionals. 


Heydari, F., Namvar, D., Heydari, F., Van, P., & Heydari, F (in press). Utilization of Interpreter Services among Farsi Speaking Podiatric Patients and Adherence to the Pain Management Plan. Journal of the American Podiatric Association. DOI.7547/18-003 

Fernández-Basanta, S. & Van, P. (2019). Coping after involuntary pregnancy loss: Perspectives of  Spanish European women. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 0(0), 1-15. Retrieved from

Van, P. (2018). Centering: An Antidote for Stress and Catalyst for Learning. Advances in Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2(5), 1-5. ACAM.000547.2018

Riopelle, D. & Van, P. (2017).  Fat type level: a simpler way for men to understand body shape and health risk. Journal of Obesity and Weight-loss Medications, 46(1),1-6. DOI: 10.23937/2572-4010.1510017 

Van, P.  (2015).  Illuminating the mystique of honor in nursing [Commentary]. International Archives of Nursing and Health Care. 1(3). Retrieved from  

Van, P., Berman, A, Beazley, B., Karshmer, J., Prion, S.,Wallace, J., & West, N.(2015). Academic-practice partnerships for unemployed new graduates in California. Journal of Professional Nursing,31(4), 351-358. DOI 10.1016/j.profnurs.2015.02.005

Van, P. (2015). [Review of the book Black middle-class women and pregnancy loss: A qualitative inquiry, by L. Paisley-Cleveland.] Sociology of Health & Illness,37(4), 645-646. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12253

Prion, S., Berman, A, Karshmer, J., Van, P., Wallace, J., & West, N. (2015).  Preceptor and self-evaluation competencies among new RN graduates. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 46(7), 303-308. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20150619-01

Prion, S., Berman, A, Karshmer, J., Van, P., Wallace, J., & West, N. (2015).  CNE Quiz: Preceptor and self-evaluation competencies among new RN graduates. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 46(7), 309-310. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20150619-15

Berman, A., Beazley, B., Karshmer, J., Prion, S., Van, P., Wallace, J., & West, N. (2014). Competence gaps among unemployed new nursing graduates entering a community-based transition-to-practice program. Nurse Educator, 39(2), 56-61. DOI: 10.1097/NNE.000000000000001800006223-201403000-00004 [pii]

Jones-Bell, J., Karshmer, J., Berman, A., Prion, S., Van, P., Wallace, J., & West, N. (2014). Collaborative academic-practice transition program for new graduate RNs in community settings: lessons learned. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(6), 259-264. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20140402-01

Wallace, J., Berman, A., Karshmer, J., Prion, S., Van, P., & West, N. (2014).  Economic aspects of community-based, academic-practice transition programs for unemployed new nursing graduates. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 30(5), 237-241. DOI: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000094

West, N., Berman, A., Karshmer, J., Prion, S., Van, P., & Wallace, J (2014). Preparing new nurse graduates for practice in multiple settings: a community-based academic-practice partnership model. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(6), 252-256. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20140417-03

West, N., Berman, A., Karshmer, J., Prion, S., Van, P., & Wallace, J. (2014).  CNE Quiz: Preparing new nurse graduates for practice in multiple settings: a community-based academic-practice partnership model. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(6), 256-257. DOI: doi:10.3928/00220124-20140527-14

Van, P. (2013). Conversations, coping, & connectedness: A qualitative study of women who have experienced involuntary pregnancy loss. OMEGA, 65(1), 71-85. DOI: 10.2190/OM.65.1.e

Van, P. & Meleis, A. (2010). Factors influencing grief intensity among African American women  after pregnancy loss. The Journal of the National Black Nurses Association, 1(2), 1-8.

Van, P, Cage, T., Shannon (2004). M. Big dreams, little sleep: Dreams during pregnancy after prior  pregnancy loss. Holistic Nursing Practice, 18(6), 284-292.

Van, P. & Meleis (2003). A. Coping with grief after involuntary pregnancy loss: Perspectives of African American women. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 32, 28-39.

Van, P. (2001).Breaking the silence of African-American women: Healing after pregnancy loss. Health Care for Women International, 22(3), 229-243.

Patterson, P. (2000). Living with grief after pregnancy loss: Perspectives of African American women (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, San Francisco, 2000). Digital Dissertations, 61(5), 2473.

Messias, D.K., Regev, H., Im, E., Spiers, J. A., Van, P., & Meleis, A. (1997). Expanding the visibility of women’s work: Policy implications. Nursing Outlook, 45(6), 258-264.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Association of California Nurse Leaders National Black Nurses Association; Bay Area Black Nurses Association Sigma Theta Tau, Inc., National Honor Society for Nurses [Alpha Eta, Nu Xi] Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Community Service

Dr. Van is a dynamic presence in community and professional organizations. She has been an active member of Sigma Theta Tau since 1975 (induction) serving as a member/Board member with Alpha Eta (UCSF), Eta Sigma Chapter (USF), and Nu Xi at Large Chapter (CSUEB) She served three years as an appointed member of the California Board of Registered Nurses, Education Issues Workgroup.  Dr. Van was recently appointed to the Marcus Foster Education Institute Board and also provides consultation to various boards that address health disparities and maternal child health issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Van is passionate about service to Samuel Merritt University. She currently serves on the Institutional Review Board. She served as Faculty Organization President and has completed service on the following university-wide committees: Rank and Promotion, Faculty Affairs, Executive Committee, and Strategic Planning Group 3; and the following nursing committees: Curriculum, Evaluation, Faculty Affairs, Mission/Philosophy (task force), and various search committees. 

Honors & Awards

Dr. Van has been recognized for her contributions to the education of nursing and support of diverse students and is featured in a permanent exhibit in the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, CA. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including multiple listings in Who’s Who Among Teachers and Faculty of the Year Award recognition by the Society of Collegiate Scholars. Dr. Van was awarded Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Community Service by the United States Congress. In 2014, she was given the prestigious honor of induction into the Inaugural Leadership Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Eta Chapter (UCSF).