|Nurse practioner ‘full of pride’ after winning award|
|Written by Tim Rosenberger, Reporter|
|Thursday, 24 January 2013 14:37|
ISU’s Teresa Valerio, a staff nurse practitioner at Student Health Services, has won the 2013 Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence, which only one person per state can receive.
The annual award, given out by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, is awarded to a nurse who has exemplified excellence in clinical practice.
Valerio, who also works as an assistant professor at the Mennonite College of Nursing, said being nominated and chosen for the award by her peers was highly valued and appreciated.
“I have nominated other nurse practitioners for this award that have outstanding skill and dedication, however, I did not realize that others saw me in the same way,” Valerio added.
Janet Krejci, the dean at MCN, said she was excited and full of pride when she heard the news, “and yet not completely surprised, as Dr. Valerio is well known not only across the state but across the nation.”
Valerio said she was humbled when her colleagues at SHS honored her with a sign for her office door, special treats and recognition on their website.
“Nursing is an amazing profession because it is intellectually challenging, [and it] requires the application of knowledge and human caring to improve and/or maintain the health of humans,” Valerio said.
“What greater work could there be for the benefit of humanity?” she added.
As part of her work, Valerio sees students once a week for their sleep and primary care problems.
For the past 10 years she has been studying sleep problems, focusing on the problem in college students for the last two and has contributed to an award-winning book on the subject.
She is currently the leader on a research team examining survey information from more than 178,000 U.S. colleges.
“This analysis will provide a broad basis for research activities to improve the sleep quality of college students,” Valerio said.
Sleep is a frequently ignored but important student issue, Krejci said.
“Her expertise at the student health center is wonderful as we now have the expertise to increase awareness and offer help to students so [they] may be more successful academically as well as personally,” Krejci added.
In her career, Valerio is most proud of the families, patients and nurses she has assisted in having a better quality of life.
Valerio first became interested in caring for people and animals when she was in grade school, having lived on a farm in west central Illinois.
Valerio started working at ISU in 2011, having attended ISU graduate school from 2001-03.
She wanted to work at ISU because it allowed her to continue clinical practice, to research and to pass on her knowledge and skill to others.
Finding ISU to be a supportive school with an emphasis on good teaching and research, Valerio does not plan on leaving anytime soon and would like to stay until her retirement.