Heather Garcia, MSN, RN, CNS, CPN

Associate Professor


  • MSN, Family Clinical Nurse Specialist, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • ADN, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara
  • BS Biology, Westmont College, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

  • NSG 3010/3011: Nursing of Families: Child/Adolescent Focus
  • NSG 4080: Nursing Capstone
  • NSG 4081: Capstone Preceptorship Practicum

Experience in Field

  • Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego
    • Associate Professor 2021 – present
    • Adjunct Faculty-Pediatric Clinical Nursing Instructor, 2014-2017
  • Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
    • Education and Professional Development Department Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) & New Graduate RN/RT Residency Program Coordinator, 2017 – present
    • Education and Professional Development Department RN Educator, 2016-2017
    • Interim RN/RT Residency Program Coordinator, 2015-2016
    • Co-RN Educator for RN/RT Residency Program, 2013-2014
    • RN Educator for 3 East Surgical Unit, 2011-2012
    • Pediatric Clinical Nurse III, 3 East Surgical Unit, 2008-2017
    • Medical Express Travel Company - Pediatric Travel RN, 2007-2008
  • Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara: Pediatric Clinical Nurse, Pediatric Unit, 2004-2007
  • Evidence-Based Practice Institute – Appraising, Analyzing, and Applying
  • ANPD National Conference – Inspire to Inclusivity
  • Society of Pediatric Nursing (SPN)
  • Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD)
  • California Clinical Nurses Association (CACNS)
  • Communications in Healthcare Training - Institute of Healthcare Excellence, October 2018
  • Evidence-Based Practice Institute Fellow, 2017

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, March 2011-present                                                         
  • Summer Medical Academy, 2018-present
  • Rock Church, Point Loma Campus - Balboa park clean-up, Community clean up, 2009-present
  • The Gathering Church, Mira Mesa Serve Sunday:  1st Sunday of every month participate in Sunday Service projects with Alabaster Jar (Human Trafficking), San Diego Rescue Mission, Hope Leadership Academy, No Silence No Violence, and Baja Bound-house building in Mexico
  • Medical mission trips to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Saint Lucia bringing pervasive hope, sustainable medical care, and the love of Jesus to prostitutes, drug addicts, mother-infant care, 2008-2011

Awards and Honors

  • Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego: Advance Practice Nurse of Excellence Award, 2019
  • Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego: Education Team Daisy Nomination, 2018
  • EBPI Fellow – Best Poster Design, 2017
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Honor Society of Nursing Induction, 2013
  • Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego: Leadership Award in Professional Practice & Shared-Decision Making, 2012
  • Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego: Nurse of Excellence Nomination, 2011

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • NACNS Conference – Poster presentation: Implementation of a Clinical Nurse Specialist Outcome Tracking Spreadsheet and Annual Report, March 2022

  • EBPI – Mentoring the Mentor: Training Mentors on How to Mentor Novice Nurses, November 2021
  • Accepted for poster presentation at ANPD Conference in August 2021 for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in New Graduate Nurses.
  • Evidence-Based Practice Research Institute – poster presentation for Identification of Preceptor Support Needs, November 2018
  • Interprofessional Symposium at Rady Children’s Hospital - poster presentation for Identification of Preceptor Support Needs, November 2018