Company: University of Nebraska
Medical Center College of Nursing
Location: Omaha, NE United States
Influenced by her experience empowering younger people through 4-H, Audrey E. Nelson knew helping others was her calling. She has spent the past four decades developing her expertise in pediatric nursing, and now, in her leadership role at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, she is utilizing her talents to help younger faculty better develop students. Dr. Nelson is passionate about student exam success, and always goes above and beyond to find ways to enhance the college experience. In addition to serving the school as an associate professor, she also acts as the coordinator of the UNMC College of Nursing History Museum.
As a testament to her achievements thus far, Dr. Nelson was selected as an honored member of The International Women’s Leadership Association and earned the 40 Year Service Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2016. She also won the Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes in 2015 as recognition for leadership and mentoring students, was chosen to be part of the UNMC iLEAD program from 2014 to 2015, and was awarded the Ada Lindsey Professional Service Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in 2008, among a number of other awards and grants.
No journey is without its challenges, however, and the biggest one Dr. Nelson had to overcome is getting her team to work together for the benefit of the students. She is proud of her success, however, because she believes that she and the other faculty are there to ensure that students can provide the best health care decisions to their patients. Looking forward, Dr. Nelson’s vision is to work on student mentoring programs within the college. She is inspired by the light bulb that goes off when students finally understand the concepts being taught; she finds it so rewarding.
To prepare for her illustrious career, Dr. Nelson earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994, a Master of Science in pediatric nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in 1972. She also holds a CPR certification and a CITI certification, and completed a post-doc fellowship sponsored by the Oncology Nursing Society and Ortho Biotech to develop a psychosocial intervention for parents. Dr. Nelson’s main research focus is children with chronic illnesses and their families, primarily working with parents and student education success. If she could offer some advice to the younger generations entering the workforce, it would be to go the extra mile for patients and their family and really connect with them.
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