Cal State East Bay Blog

‘A Dream Come True’: CSUEB Nursing Student Becomes CSUEB Nursing Instructor



At Cal State East Bay’s Concord Center, a realistic human dummy made of silicone lays in a large, adjustable bed. His name is Jimmy, and he’s plugged into a heart monitor inside a detailed mock hospital room, complete with all the necessary nursing tools. His head and body are remotely controlled from behind a large one-way mirror by Nursing Simulation Instructor Anna Livson. In this imitation hospital room is where CSUEB Bachelor of Science in Nursing students get the opportunity to act out simulated real-life medical scenarios that they will inevitably face in their future careers.

As soon as Livson talks into a microphone from her office located behind the mirror, Jimmy’s mouth begins to move.

“Help! I need a nurse! My body hurts,” whispers Jimmy in a frail voice. A small group of students rush into the room, assess the situation and work together to take care of Jimmy, as if he were a living patient. While she’s voice acting, Livson observes each student to make sure Jimmy gets the proper care. This is the moment when Livson, she said, has reached her ultimate career goal: Teaching and shaping future nurses.

“I want my students to have the best learning experience they can have,” said Livson. “Becoming an educator at CSUEB has been a dream come true.”

What makes Livson unique is that she received her BS in Nursing from CSUEB in 2008, and in 2022 she graduated from CSUEB’s Hybrid Master of Science in Nursing Program, which she said is the proudest moment of her career.

“Being an MSN graduate means to me that there are more opportunities to make a difference, and to influence the lives of people in a better way. To be a change-maker,” said Livson.

The Hybrid MSN Program at CSUEB prepares nurses for advanced practice as health educators, consultants and administrative leaders. The program also serves as a pathway for those interested in pursuing a doctorate in any nursing practice or research-oriented graduate program. Depending on academic goals, the program includes two different tracks: Nursing Education or Nursing Leadership and Administration. The curriculum includes online courses designed for working nurses. Additionally, students attend a two-day master course immersion event on campus at the start of each year.

Reflecting on her time in the MSN Program, Livson said it was beyond fulfilling and gave her a new sense of confidence.

“I thought the MSN was going to be a lot harder than it was,” said Livson. “It was not a walk in the park, but it was very rewarding, especially knowing the knowledge and the professional growth you’re getting from it. It was almost like getting a new set of eyes to see things from a different perspective.”

In addition to the flexible course schedule, Livson applauded the professors who assisted her during her time in the program.

“The instructors were always available to help us, with open communication and availability,” said Livson. “They took the extra mile to make sure we were accommodated, and I’m extremely grateful for that.”

What motivated Livson to pursue her MSN stems from her upbringing in Indonesia. Her mother was a teacher, and her father was a medical doctor and an educator who would visit patients in small villages and rural provinces. During her adolescence, Livson regularly traveled alongside her father, helping to provide medical assistance to many underserved populations with no electricity. She learned the value of education and developed compassion for others, which is what drove her to become a nurse and an instructor at CSUEB, she said.

“My favorite thing about teaching at CSUEB is the interaction with my students,” said Livson. “I like being able to impart something, not just knowledge, but wisdom and also my own pitfalls, because we all make mistakes and they need to be shared so we can all grow from them.”

When she’s not coaching her 96 students, Livson is a bedside nurse at Stanford Hospital’s emergency department in Palo Alto. She spends her free time with her two children, being in nature and often reading engaging books.

Even throughout her busy schedule, Livson often thinks about how the MSN degree helped her live out her dream, she said.

“I recommend the MSN Program to anybody. If you don’t think you can do it, think again,” said Livson. “I always had two dreams: To become a nurse and to become an educator, so you can imagine how elated I am. I can’t believe I’ve been able to achieve these things. When you set your heart on something, you will find a way to make your way towards that goal.”

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Hybrid Master of Science in Nursing Program

Gain the knowledge and skills to become an effective educator or leader in health care with a flexible program designed for working professionals. Learn more here.