Valerie Joy Smith, PhD, RN, MSN, CCRN


Department Chair, Assistant Professor

Phone: (626) 535-3179

Email: [email protected]

Office Location: West Campus, Building 1, #314

Valerie Joy Smith, a clinical expert in adult critical and restorative care nursing, has over 46 years of extensive clinical, leadership, and administrative experience. She has a MSN in Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing and is certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN-K) and Gerontological Nursing (GERO-BC). Her doctoral research focused on coping and spiritual well-being of adults newly diagnosed with heart failure. More recently, she left frontline acute care leadership to pursue an academic career. This change in professional trajectory aligned with Joy's desire to improve healthcare outcomes of underrepresented and underserved minorities including the aging community that we care for by way of teaching, training, coaching, and mentoring students and faculty in their personal quests to become more intentional and better prepared Christ-following difference makers in their world. Joy's areas of interest include partnering with others in coping and achieving spiritual wellness in spite of living with acute or chronic illness, holistic restoration, early palliative and end-of-life care, nursing theory and ethics, and leadership. She serves as the Chair of the Traditional Undergraduate/BSN Program and is actively involved in a variety of School of Nursing and campus-wide committees.


  • BS in Nursing, Roberts Wesleyan College, 1977
  • MS in Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, 1994
  • PhD in Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, 2019


  • AACN-Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN-K), since 1984
  • AACN-Gerontological Nursing (GERO-BC), since 2022

Academic Area

  • School of Nursing


  • Nursing Theory / Application
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Nursing Ethics
  • Adult/aging health / medical-surgical content
  • Leadership

Courses Taught

  • UNRS 306 - Theoretical Frameworks in Nursing
  • UNRS 314 - Nursing Management and Restorative Care of Adults / didactic faculty
  • UNRS 314P - Nursing Management and Restorative Care of Adults / practicum-clinical instructor
  • UNRS 403 - Nursing Leadership
  • UNRS 411 - Advanced Medical Surgical/Critical Care Nursing / didactic faculty
  • UNRS 411P - Advanced Medical Surgical/Critical Care Nursing / practicum-clinical instructor
  • UNRS 496 - Ethical Issues in Health Care