Resident Faculty

Mary Wickman 2011


Director and Professor of Nursing

  • B.S. in Nursing, Mount St. Mary’s College
  • Ph.D. in Nursing

Mary Wickman has extensive background and experience in nursing education, both administratively and as a faculty member. Wickman comes to Vanguard from California State University, Fullerton where she developed and directed the prelicensure nursing programs. She also served as chair of the nursing department at Mount St. Mary’s College, and was faculty and directed the RN program at Santa Ana College for 15 years. Her research interests and areas of expertise include nursing education, adolescent risk behaviors, substance abuse treatment, and managed care. Wickman served for 21 years in the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps and is a retired Captain.



Assistant Director, MSN Coordinator, Professor of Nursing

  • B.S. in Nursing, University of San Diego
  • M.S. in Nursing, University of San Diego
  • Doctor of Nursing Science, University of San Diego

Colette York has broad, extensive experience in nursing, nursing education, and nursing curriculum design. She worked for 30 years in ambulatory, surgical, and post-partum nursing. She has served in full-time nursing faculty nursing roles, including time at CSU Bakersfield and Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska.



Julia Wilson, MSN, RN, FNP-BC

Assistant Professor of Nursing

  • B.S. in Nursing, California State University Fullerton
  • M.S. in Nursing, California State University Long Beach
  • Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

Julia Wilson has an extensive background in nursing and has been in practice in Irvine as a nurse practitioner since 1997.  She has worked for over 30 years as a registered nurse at Hoag Hospital in the areas of cardiology, maternal child health, and medical surgical nursing areas.  She has been a full-time faculty member at Vanguard since 2008, and previously taught at Golden West College for over six years. Julia is currently completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and is anticipating graduation in 2014.





Assistant Professor of Nursing

  • B.S. in Nursing, Sonoma State University
  • M.S. in Nursing, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • CNS, Point Loma Nazarene University

Amanda Firestone brings many years of clinical nursing experience as well as a passion for nursing education.  Amanda has 13 years of nursing experience in the following fields:  Telemetry, Emergency, Critical Care Transport, and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.  Amanda has taught in Pre-licensure, RN-BSN, and Graduate Nursing Programs.  Amanda’s passion is bringing creativity into the classroom and providing a safe and fun atmosphere to learn together. 




Mary “Brigid” Barrett, MSN, RN

Associate Professor in Nursing

  • B.S. in Nursing, University of San Francisco
  • M.S. in Nursing, California State University Sacramento

Brigid Barrett has an extensive background in nursing and has held positions as a staff nurse, nursing instructor, and nurse educator.  Her fields of interest are integrative health care, resiliency/self-care in health care workers, and wellness nurse coaching.  Ms. Barrett teaches primarily in the MSN program and brings a wealth of administrative knowledge and experience to the classroom and to her students.