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Vets2BSN: Home

Housed within the National University’s Department of Nursing, the Vets2BSN Project is a federally funded grant initiative to support the recruitment and retention of active duty and prior military corpsman and medics. The project offers a series of workshops, enrichment seminars, and individual/group tutoring to assist students with scholarly writing, test taking strategies, language skills, stress management, career advisement, NCLEX-RN and PN preparation and mentorship activities.

The Vets2BSN staff consists of a director, manager, coordinator, evaluator, academic counselor, student tutors, mentors, coaches, faculty advisors, and adjunct faculty who provide students with supportive services leading to the successful completion of program requirements.

Gloria McNealProject Director: Dr. Gloria J. McNeal serves as the director for Vets2BSN Project and the Dean of National University's School of Health and Human Services. She is a former US Navy Nurse Corps Officer, and has been given the distinct honor of being recognized as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a 2007 Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Program. She is a board certified advanced practice nurse and manages the care of chronically ill patients in underserved communities.

Hope FarquharsonProject Manager: Dr. Hope Farquharson is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Nursing at National University. She previously served as a core adjunct faculty in the BSN program for 11 years. In addition to her clinical experience, she brings nearly 20 years of experience in nursing education in colleges and universities.


Tyler SmithProject Evaluator: Dr. Tyler Smith is the Program Lead for the Master Degree in Health Analytics and the Chair of the Department of Community Health at National University. He has nearly 20 years of experience in health research leading large longitudinal studies, infant health registries, population health studies, and medical health outcomes research.


Jenna ReyesProject Coordinator: Ms. Jenna Reyes’ nursing practice includes medical/surgical/orthopedic, critical care, emergency and nursing education. She is serving as the Regional Director for Skills and Simulation and has collaborated extensively with Dr. Paul Tontz on the mentoring program. As the wife of a Navy veteran, Ms. Reyes has experienced the care that Navy corpsman bring to military families. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education at the University of Alabama.

Paul TontzAcademic Support Counselor: Dr. Paul Tontz has more than 15 years in advising, counseling, and mentoring roles.  He is also a former US Navy Lieutenant. His role is to develop enrichment programs to assist with test-taking strategies, academic advisement, student peer tutoring, APA writing, stress and time management, coping strategies, learning style exploration, career development, and preparation for NCLEX.

Competency Based Education Coaches

Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Howarth is an Associate Professor of Nursing at National University. Her career has spanned over 40 years as a nurse/nurse practitioner/doctor of nurse practice and educator. She is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Her father was a decorated Air Force veteran who served in three wars. She has a passion for caring for our veterans.


Kristi EichhornProfessor Kristi Eichhorn has extensive experience in the perinatal setting as a bedside nurse, a charge nurse, and an advanced practice nursing educator. In addition, she brings experience as a provider – receiving a dual master’s degree as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife from San Diego State University. Kristi’s father honorably served as part of a Marine Corp Reconnaissance battalion in Vietnam. She feels it is an honor to mentor our veterans on their paths to a successful nursing career.


Bridgette PardeeBridgette Pardee, BSN, RN



Ashley KaufmanAshley Kaufman, BSN, RN



Jamie KuhnJamie Kuhn, BSN, RN

Additional benefits of participation included access to the National University Student Nurses Association (NUSNA) and the Military Student Nurse Mentorship Organization (MSNMO), designed to match Vets2BSN students with professional working nurses (either civilian or military specialty of their choice) to aid in their transition and development.

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Program FAQs

That is correct, due to the specifications of the grant which funds the project.

Yes, candidates must move to San Diego to participate in one of our nursing cohorts.

Yes. We have several MECP students in our nursing program and generally start those students in our July or October cohorts.

Please send an email to with your request and include the following information: full name, NU student ID number, date of application submission or potential submission, confirmation that your nursing prerequisite courses have been completed, and whether you are requesting the conditional letter, degree plan, or both.

The Vets2BSN Project Academic Counselor, Dr. Paul Tontz, is available for consultation on ways to improve your writing, TEAS, and application strength. Please contact him at

More Information

Have more questions? Please contact:

Dr. Paul Tontz
Academic Counselor, Vets2BSN Project
Nursing Department
National University, 858-521-3972