HSC College of Nursing welcomes five new team members

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Cindy Weston, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CHSE, FAANP, dean of the College of Nursing at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and her leadership team recently welcomed five new team members.

The latest additions bring vital experience to the college as they seek to help alleviate the Texas nursing shortage.

“We’ve assembled an incredible team with a broad range of experiences and areas of expertise,” Weston said. “We want to expose our students to the many nursing paths available as well as the wide range of skills and practices they need to become well-rounded and poised to succeed.” 

Nicki McgeeExecutive Director for Student Success/Assistant Professor − Nicki McGee, EdD, MPH

McGee most recently served as the assistant vice provost for HSC Enrollment Management, leading the team to develop the first undergraduate program on campus. She is an accomplished executive and trained mediator with extensive management and supervisory experience across academia. McGee has wide-ranging experience in delivering academic support services, including conflict, change and personnel management.



Laura ThomasProfessor − Laura Thomas, PhD, RN, CNE

Thomas comes to HSC after serving 16 years as a faculty member for the Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing. She has taught at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. Thomas also has been involved in research publications as a manuscript reviewer and is co-investigator on a research team developing an assessment tool for nursing students.



 Cody BruceAssociate Professor − Cody Bruce, PhD, MSN Ed, BSN

Bruce is an experienced educator with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Education. He has 11 years of teaching experience in the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing, second degree/accelerated BSN, Registered Nursing to BSN online and graduate Master of Science in Nursing education. His research focuses on promoting the retention of Native Americans in nursing education. He most recently served as a clinical associate professor in the School of Nursing at Texas A&M University in Round Rock.




Tracy HicksAssociate Professor − Tracy Hicks, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, EMBA

With a dual certification in psychiatric mental health and family practice, Hicks’ focus area is psychiatry and substance use disorders. She has held faculty positions at Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Tyler and Frontier Nursing University. She also holds a certification in addiction through the International Nursing Society on Addictions.



Ryan Schalles Assistant Professor − Ryan Schalles, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN

A former emergency nurse in the U.S. Army Reserve, Schalles was part of the team that in 2021 opened the newest campus of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in Mansfield. While there, Schalles redesigned the “Applied Concepts of Pharmacology” course, resulting in higher student retention in the School of Nursing.

 The HSC College of Nursing is expected to offer both RN to BSN and MSN in Nursing Practice Innovation degrees this fall, when the college’s first students will start classes. Both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges also must approve the degrees before the new college can begin enrolling students.



For more information about HSC’s new College of Nursing, visit unthsc.edu/college-of-nursing.


From HSC Newsroom - Our People by Kate Lino