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Dr. Angel Coaston Named Inaugural Dean of the School of Nursing in the Pepperdine University College of Health Science

Angel Coaston

Ƶ announced the appointment of Dr. Angel Coaston as the inaugural dean of the School of Nursing in the College of Health Science. Coaston is a transformational leader who currently serves as associate dean of clinical academic practice partnerships and associate professor of nursing at California Baptist University. She will begin her appointment July 1, 2024.

“Throughout her career in higher education, health systems, and clinics, Dr. Coaston has demonstrated a commitment to developing departments, programs, experiences, and community engagement opportunities that meet the distinct needs of students, faculty, and community members,” said Pepperdine provost Jay Brewster in a message to the community. “I am energized by the extraordinary team of compassionate healthcare education leaders we are building at the College of Health Science and look forward to the ways in which Dr. Coaston’s expertise, empathy, and faith-based practices will impact the educational experience at Pepperdine.”

Coaston has substantial experience in clinical settings and has contributed her expertise to medical centers, private clinics, mobile health clinics, public schools, and faith communities, serving a diverse caseload from NICU to geriatrics. For more than 10 years, she served as a full-time faculty member with administrative responsibilities in university settings, bringing innovations to nursing schools in the areas of population health and school-based, community-based, and faith-based nursing. She also taught cultural competency in healthcare to graduate-level nurse practitioners with an emphasis on understanding the culture of homelessness.

“I am thrilled to join an incredible team leading the development and implementation of Pepperdine’s School of Nursing,” shared Coaston. “My personal mission is to build a foundation of love, honor, and compassion, fostering transformational and innovative learning experiences that reflect our commitment to Christian values. These core principles will distinguish our nursing students, equipping them to lead lives of purpose, service, and leadership within health systems and communities locally and worldwide.”

Coaston began her career as a pediatric nurse before moving into emergency nursing and pediatric emergency nursing. She later moved into healthcare leadership, where, in the healthcare system, she was trained in leadership communication, management, team building, innovation, and experience design.

At Loma Linda University Medical Center, Coaston was the executive director of case management and transitional care management and the manager of community health development, where she planned, developed and implemented innovations to bridge the gap in the care continuum across the healthcare system. She led the efforts for designing Loma Linda University Medical Center’s transitional care and bundled payment initiative, creating a new service of care for high-risk patients, information technology enhancement, and electronic health record integration within the system and into the community where the patient lives.

At Azusa Pacific University, Coaston served as the director of the master of science in nursing program and as the site director of the School of Nursing Inland Empire regional campus. An advocate for vulnerable populations, Coaston’s decadeslong service as the cofounder and former CEO of Well of Healing Mobile Medical Clinic enabled a team of volunteers to provide free primary care services to homeless, uninsured, and underinsured community members in San Bernardino County. Her role also enabled partnerships with universities and health systems and, as a grant writer, she secured more than $1 million to support the clinic’s operations. As a former volunteer leader herself, she has supported and encouraged faith communities to engage congregants to serve their local community with purpose and intention.

Beyond her exceptional professional accomplishments, Coaston is on the board of trustees at two local hospitals, on the board of directors for two local nonprofit community-based organizations, and a consultant for a mission-driven organization seeking to improve the health of communities that lack access to healthcare and to transform health systems.

Coaston holds a PhD in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Phoenix and went on to earn master of science in nursing and family nurse practitioner degrees from Western University of Health Sciences. She holds a School Nurse Services Credential from Azusa Pacific University.