SMU Nursing Faculty Member Selected to Participate in Inaugural Digital Bootcamp

Oakland, Calif. (June 11, 2018) — Samuel Merritt University (SMU) Professor Patricia Brennan, PhD, RN, was selected to be among 30 nursing faculty from across the nation to participate in an inaugural bootcamp in July at the Apple campus in Austin, Texas, to explore the development of relevant, engaging digital content for health professional students.

The Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Concept to Action is a collaboration between the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and Apple. At the three-day intensive program on July 9-12, Apple development executives and educators will present how emerging technologies can transform the higher learning experience.

"I'm thrilled to have been chosen to participate in the AACN Digital Innovation Bootcamp,” Brennan said. “The opportunity to further explore ways to improve upon health education using the latest technology and creative collaborations will positively impact our students and the University community as a whole."

Brennan primarily teaches health policy and genomics in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs at SMU and is currently involved in a three-year funded research study on the use of virtual reality with family nurse practitioner students across University campuses.

In keeping with the association's strategic goal to serve as the driving force for innovation and excellence in academic nursing, AACN launched the bootcamp initiative to provide new opportunities for nursing faculty to leverage technology to enhance learning in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. The event will include sessions on creating digital content, developing iOS mobile apps and multi-touch books, and creating an engaging learning environment.

“Faculty today must have a high digital IQ,” according to the AACN. “Classroom technology and social media are here to stay so it’s time for nurse educators to sharpen their skills as digital content creators.”

AACN said it chose the participants from among more than 150 applicants for their innovative ideas and commitment to enhancing the educational experience for nursing students. Following the bootcamp, Brennan and the other selected nursing faculty will each complete a digital project to be presented at upcoming AACN conferences in 2018 and 2019.

For more information, contact:

Debra Holtz, Samuel Merritt University, 510-409-7936,
Robert Rosseter, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 202-463-6930, ext. 231


Samuel Merritt University has been educating students since 1909 to become highly skilled healthcare practitioners who positively transform the experience of care in diverse communities.  More than 2,000 students are enrolled at SMU campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, and San Mateo as well as in online programs.  The University offers bachelor’s degrees in nursing; master's degrees in nursing and physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in nursing practice, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and podiatric medicine.  Samuel Merritt University is affiliated with Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network providing comprehensive healthcare in more than 100 Northern California communities. For more information, visit
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing 810 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. For information, visit


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