Alumni Accomplishments


Dr. Cynthia Sanchez, Class of 2016, Presented at the 2016 American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) national conference

Sanchez_CynthiaCynthia Sanchez, DNP, RN, NP-C, is a board certified family nurse practitioner. The purpose of her doctoral research, a retrospective chart review of over 400 women 40 years and older, was to determine if annual pelvic exams continue to be helpful for women’s health in this age group. Dr. Sanchez’ findings that an unexpectedly high prevalence of gynecologic conditions exist in this group of well women brought into question a recommendation that annual pelvic exams might be unneeded in this age group. Her compelling findings were accepted as a Breaking News podium presentation at the 2016 American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) national conference in New Orleans.  In addition, her poster presentation on her research was the first runner up in the Research and Information Exchange category at the 2016 Western Institute of Nursing Research Annual Conference.

Dr. Sanchez has been in practice for 12 years as a Women’s Health provider at LAC/USC Medical Center. She earned her bachelor’s in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, her master’s in nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the Southern California CSU DNP Consortium program in May 2016. In addition to her certification as a FNP, she is also certified as a colposcopist in order to provide advanced care to women with cervical lesions to prevent cervical cancer through early detection and treatment. She is a member of American Society of Colposcopists and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and Sigma Theta Tau, International (STTI). She also works as part-time faculty for the University of Phoenix, teaching both undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

Dr. Sanchez has been married for 30 years and has one son, who is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach.  She lives in Orange County, is an avid dog lover, volunteers as camp nurse for her church, and teaches Sunday school.


Dr. Jean O’Neil, Class of 2014, Appointed Assistant Professor of Nursing at California State University, Los Angeles

Jean_OneilJean O’Neil, DNP, RN, FNP-BC received her BSN from the University of Hawaii, her MSN from University of California, Los Angeles as a Cardiovascular Clinical Specialist and returned to UCLA to get her Post-Master’s certificate to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. After 20 years of practice as an FNP, she attended the Southern California CSU DNP program to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

In addition to a very active clinical practice, she has been nursing faculty at Mount St. Mary’s, UCLA and University of Southern California and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing, as well as the Adult Geriatric Acute Care Clinical Coordinator, at California State University, Los Angeles. 

Dr. O’Neil has a broad range of clinical experiences ranging from medical/surgical to acute care nursing.  In addition to teaching, she is currently the lead family nurse practitioner in a high school clinic, as well as an NP in an emergency room in Los Angeles.

Her current interest and research lies in adolescent medicine, especially in the areas of reducing high-risk behaviors which includes the improvement of a teen’s sexual health through family planning and the prevention, testing, and treatment of STDs. She is an advocate of health services for women and teens, especially in underserved communities. She most recently presented at the Sigma Theta Tau Odyssey conference in October, 2016.  Her well received podium presentation was entitled, Adolescent sexual health and the internet: an evidence review.

Dr. O’Neil is a member of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners (CANP) and Sigma Theta Tau (Nu Mu chapter). 

In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family, travel, read, and see anything that involves live theater! 


Dr. Kathleen M. McDermott, Class of 2015, announced President Elect APNA, CA Chapter

McDermott_KathleenKathleen M. McDermott, DNP, RN, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner actively practicing for the past 14 years.  She is currently licensed as a PMHNP in New York and California. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Villanova University, her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Stony Brook University – SUNY and her Master’s in Psychiatric Nursing from Columbia University.  She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with the Southern California CSU DNP Consortium program in 2015. 

She currently works with Mental Health America Los Angeles (MHALA), The Village in Long Beach, CA, where she collaborates with an interdisciplinary team to provide care to those in the Long Beach community in need of psychiatric treatment and oversees the healthcare integration efforts of the agency. Her areas of specialization are the integration of physical and mental health care, comorbid medical challenges, mental health parity, reduction of stigma associated with mental health diagnosis and motivational interviewing. In September 2016, she assumed the role of Vice President of Healthcare Integration to oversee the agency’s efforts to promote whole person care.

In 2014, Dr. McDermott co-presented Treating Substance Abuse in the Primary Care Setting at the California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP) Annual Education Conference. In 2015, she presented on healthcare integration at the American Psychiatric Nurse Association (APNA) statewide and national conferences, and was awarded an APNA Board of Directors Scholarship. She also presented with her physician colleague at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association national conference. She was honored with the Athalie award from the Association for the Advancement of Nursing Science and Research (AANSR) in June 2015. In 2016, she presented at the 10th Annual Promising Practices Conference, the Association of California Nurse Leaders 38th Annual Conference, and the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Annual National Conference

In 2015, she was elected to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) California Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large. 

She was recently elected by her peers to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) California Board of Directors as the President-Elect and will serve a three year term as the state President–Elect, President, and Immediate Past President beginning in October 2016. 

She consults for the American Nurses Association as a subject matter expert and serves on the California State University in Long Beach (CSULB) Institutional Review Board as a medical expert.  She is also part-time faculty at CSULB where she teaches graduate psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students.