College of Nursing

In response to a national and state urgency to strengthen the nursing workforce, HSC launched a new College of Nursing in February 2023.

Texas has the second-fewest nurses per capita in the U.S. This shortage was identified in 2000 and worsened during the pandemic. Additionally, there are 7.4 million Texans living in a Health Professional Shortage Area, further emphasizing the enormity of this crisis. With the demand for nurses projected to exceed 57,000 by 2032, the Texas health care system is at risk.

HSC is leveraging its interprofessional ecosystem, research enterprise and the strengths of the UNT System in creating this innovative college. The university is committed to producing outstanding nurse leaders who embrace whole-person health, address health disparities and ensure safe, high-quality care in the communities where they live and work.

The new College of Nursing is expected to offer both undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees starting in fall 2024, pending approval from various accrediting bodies

Cindy Weston, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

Cindy Weston 2

is the founding dean of the College of Nursing. Dr. Weston previously served as associate dean for clinical and outreach affairs and associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Nursing.

She has been a co-recipient of more than $20 million in funding to implement nurse-managed care delivery models, innovative simulation, integrated behavioral health care models and improving health outcomes in vulnerable populations. Her research focused on cardiovascular disease, health and wellness, innovative pedagogy in family nurse practitioner curriculum, access to health care in vulnerable populations, patient safety and interprofessional education.

Dr. Weston is the president of the Texas Nurse Practitioners while also serving as a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, International Association for Clinical Simulation in Nursing and more. She recently was selected as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

She began her career at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute caring for infants, children and adults after cardiac surgery and transplantation. In 1996, she was appointed the Betty Baker Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Nursing at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Dr. Weston earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas Medical Branch, a Master of Science in Nursing from UT Health Houston and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from UT Health San Antonio.