Highlands RN to BSN Nursing Student Named Clinical Director of Year at Alta Vista Hospital
New Mexico Highlands University RN to BSN nursing program student Louella Read was named 2009 clinical director of the year at Alta Vista Regional Hospital, where she has worked for 15 years.
Read, 39, has been a registered nurse at the hospital since 2001, specializing in obstetrics. She was promoted to director of the Obstetrics Department in 2007, where she supervises a staff of 14.
“Inside every nurse there’s a desire to nurture and help people,” Read said. “Every nurse has their calling and mine is labor and delivery. Being part of a wonderful childbirth experience with the family is like food for the soul. I love it.
“As a director, you want to have a good clinical nursing foundation, which I had. The additional nursing education at Highlands has helped me tremendously with leadership skills, whether it’s managing staff, budgeting, or using the latest evidence-based practice research for patient care.”
Read will graduate from Highlands University in May with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She became a registered nurse in 2001 after earning her associate’s degree in nursing from Luna Community College and passing her board exams. She is also a certified medical lab technician.
Frank Almendarez is Alta Vista’s chief nursing and clinical officer, and supervises Read. He said Read was selected from a pool of 10 clinical directors to receive the clinical director of the year award.
“Louella demonstrates tremendous energy and commitment to the patients, her Obstetrics Department, and the hospital,” Almendarez said. “Her employees respect her because she’s so involved in her department’s operations, and works side-by-side with them in delivering patient care. She’s always fair and consistent with her employees, and treats them with respect and dignity.”
Almendarez said that in a March 2009 employee survey, the Obstetrics Department ranked number one in positive comments from staff.
“The employee survey reflects Louella’s ability as a leader,” Alamendarez said.
“I was not surprised to hear about Louella’s award because she’s such a strong advocate for her nursing staff and her patients,” said Susan Williams, director for the university’s nursing program, which she developed in 2007 with the first students enrolling spring semester 2008. “She has so much enthusiasm for the nursing profession and is always striving to enhance her management skills.
“Louella really exemplifies what we’re trying to produce as nursing graduates: to create nursing leaders for Northern New Mexico,” Williams said.
Through the RN to BSN program, registered nurses with associate’s degrees return to school to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing. All of the students in the program are working as licensed nurses.
“The nursing program at Highlands is perfect for adult learning,” Read said. “The courses are offered in a way that makes it easy to keep your nursing job and go to school. This program gave me the flexibility and support I needed to reach my longtime goal of completing my bachelor’s degree in nursing.”
Read added: “Alta Vista supports education 100 percent. My supervisor and CEO encouraged me to pursue my BSN.”
Like most of her nursing classmates at Highlands University, Read is also raising a family. She is a single parent to three daughters, Samantha, 16, Hannah, 11, and Sydney, 5.
“My daughters are my inspiration,” Read said. “I want them to know that if they want something enough and work hard they can achieve any goals.”
The Highlands University nursing program achieved a major goal in 2009 when the National Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education awarded the program the highest level of accreditation.
“This new nursing program at Highlands enhances our nurses’ knowledge in providing quality patient care,” Almendarez said. “It’s golden to have an accredited RN to BSN program in a small community like Las Vegas.”