Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes, director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing at Fresno State, was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the California Board of Registered Nursing. She joins the nine-member Board, who are established by law to protect and advocate for the health and safety of the public by ensuring the highest quality registered nurses in the state of California. There are currently over 390,000 registered nurses in California providing health care services in a variety of settings.

“I believe the experiences and opportunities that I have had to work in academic and service will serve me well as I serve on this Board to ensure that the practice of nursing will continue to be monitored while at the same time grow in directions that will better serve the nursing profession, healthcare and the public at large,” said De La Cruz-Reyes.

De La Cruz-Reyes has led a decorated career in the nursing profession, including serving as dean of the College of Nursing at United States University in Chula Vista, from 2011 to 2013, before coming to Fresno State to take leadership of the Center for Excellence in Nursing. Prior to that, she was the project manager at the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California for five years.

She has held many administrative and leadership positions with medical facilities in the Central Valley. Her career took root in 1969 at Fresno Community Regional Medical Center, where she would serve in many positions, including staff nurse, director of nurses, nursing manager, supervisor of the Education and Training Department and critical care and clinical instructor. She left Community Regional in 1992, and that same year, transitioned to Clovis Community Hospital, where she served as the administrative director and service integrator until 1995.

From 1996 to 2003, De La Cruz-Reyes held several positions at the Community Medical Centers, including vice president and executive director of the Education Department, vice president of continuum services and facility service integrator. In addition, she was the chief nurse executive at Fresno Heart Hospital from 2003 to 2006.

De La Cruz-Reyes, who earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills, was active in the nursing field as an educator as well – having served on the nursing faculty at San Joaquin Valley College from 2003 to 2007.

“I have always been a believer that when you receive something, you need to give back,” said De La Cruz-Reyes. “I was fortunate enough to be able to realize my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.”

In addition to this latest appointment, De La Cruz-Reyes will also be inducted into State Center Community College District’s (SCCCD) 2015 Muro de Honor. Her nomination for this award, which recognizes the contributions of dedicated and outstanding members of the Chicano/Latino community associated with SCCCD, will be celebrated this evening at Arte Americas, Casa de la Cultura.

“I feel very honored to be recognized by the State Center Community College District (SCCCD) and be inducted into their Muro de Honor,” said De La Cruz-Reyes. “As a former student of the district before and after nursing school, I am very proud of the education provided to students by the district and I appreciate having had the opportunity to work with the SCCCD Foundation to raise funds for student scholarships and collaborate with the former Health Sciences Dean to establish programs to increase the number of Registered Nurses for the Central Valley.”

For more information, contact Evangelina Morris at 559.228.2130.