Patient Resources

2022 Nursing Annual Report

Message from the Chief Nurse Executive

Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN Associate Vice President and Health System Chief Nurse Executive

2022 was a year of trailblazing for UT Southwestern nurses as we navigated through times of great transition. Our unwavering commitment to our Magnet values was evident in both our successes and challenges.

We continue to make remarkable strides in delivering exceptional quality of care and service across UT Southwestern. While many of these efforts are detailed in the pages of this Nursing Annual Report, I would like to highlight just a few of our significant accomplishments here.

During the past year, our clinics demonstrated Magnet-worthy care by implementing innovative at-home initiatives that not only educated our patients but also ensured their safety and reduced visits to the emergency room.

Our hospital units continue to earn prestigious designations that acknowledge our professional expertise and exceptional patient care. Some notable achievements include exemplar-level status from NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders), the only international designation signifying a health system’s commitment to elder care excellence; accreditation as a Level 4 Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, the highest level recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers; and the Stroke Gold Plus Award, which our stroke unit received from the American Heart Association.

Indeed, excellence and tangible investment in the future can be observed in every corner of our campus and regional centers.

We are dedicated to investing in our people – not solely in our nurses but in the entire team that collaborates in patient care. For instance, in 2022 our nurse educators welcomed the first cohort of medical office assistant (MOA) residents. The residency has been curated specifically to prepare our MOAs for certification by offering them 2,000 clinical hours, with a formal scope of practice training in UT Southwestern ambulatory clinics. As our care footprint expands, we also have augmented other supportive services to enhance our work, such as an increased number of child life specialists and music therapists to accommodate growing needs and locations.

“The unwavering dedication, commitment to excellence, and compassionate care of our nurses have been the driving forces behind our achievements. Together, we will continue to trailblaze new paths, elevate the standards of care, and make a profound impact on the lives of those we serve.”

I am immensely proud that our nurses have a meaningful voice in all we do, including the enhancement of programs that support the team’s well-being. Their voice and support for each other is evident in our NOMAD (Navigating Our Multifaceted Acute Distress) Peer Support Group, a well-being and resiliency initiative that fosters robust engagement and healthy conversations in our units and clinics.

As an organization, we are continuously working to strengthen safety measures to ensure the security of our patients, visitors, and staff. Alongside operational adjustments, we have introduced new resources, including UT Southwestern’s first behavior response nurse, who collaborates with the University Police to address patient and visitor concerns.

At UT Southwestern, nurses have the autonomy to choose their own paths when they walk through our doors. Many of them are dedicated to furthering their educational goals by pursuing advanced degrees in nursing. I’m pleased to share that at the end of the 2022 fiscal year, 2,554 of our nurses achieved a B.S.N. or higher. Additionally, last year, thanks to a very special gift – the Rose-Marie “Rory” Meyers Advanced Education Program for Nursing Excellence – 27 more nurses earned the opportunity to focus on their education without the burden of covering accompanying expenses. My heart is filled with gratitude for the family members of Meyers, a first-generation nurse who believed in paying it forward to support future nurses in pursuing their dreams.

As we bring this chapter to a close and prepare for the dynamic days ahead, I am committed to maintaining a spirit of gratitude and continuing this journey of excellence together. The unwavering dedication, commitment to excellence, and compassionate care of our nurses have been the driving forces behind our achievements. Together, we will continue to trail blaze new paths, elevate the standards of care, and make a profound impact on the lives of those we serve. Here's to a year filled with growth, resilience, and countless moments of nursing excellence. I’m grateful to all UT Southwestern nurses for their incredible contributions, and together we will continue to inspire and uplift each other in the pursuit of our shared mission.


Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN
Associate Vice President and Health System Chief Nurse Executive

Nurse Executive Cabinet

From left: Cristy Garza, Administrative Coordinator to Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, Associate Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive; David Wyatt, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, Chief Nursing Officer, University Hospital; Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, Chief Nurse Executive; Sean Gilmore, M.H.A., Director, Clinical Programs and Initiatives; Christi Nguyen, D.N.P., RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Nurse Excellence; Christopher McLarty, D.N.P., APRN, NP-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Ambulatory Services

Values in Practice

Nursing Philosophy

UT Southwestern is committed to providing quality nursing care through effective use of resources and the development of innovative programs in clinical practice, education, and research.

We value the worth, dignity, and autonomy of our patients and their families. We believe that each individual has unique physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs that are served through personalized, compassionate care.

We encourage each nurse to care for his or her body, mind, and spirit as a critical element in achieving clinical excellence. Nurses at UT Southwestern are also encouraged to nurture and support one another in an environment that fosters teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Working collaboratively affords us the opportunity for common goal-setting through trust, mutual respect, and a commitment to open and honest communication in serving our patients.

Our Commitment to Our Patients and Each Other

  • I will do my part to make the hospital environment a peaceful, quiet place dedicated to the healing of the body and spirit.
  • I will anticipate the needs of patients and their families rather than waiting to be asked for assistance.
  • I will own and resolve every problem I can or personally hand over the problem to someone who can resolve it.
  • I will respect the confidentiality of patients, their families, and my colleagues through discrete conversation and attention to privacy.
  • I will be responsible for keeping our work environments clean and safe.
  • I will dress professionally, and I will speak and conduct myself in a manner that always keeps the focus on our patients.
Female nurse and patient in an exam room.

At UT Southwestern, we’re immensely proud of all our nurses, and we know our retirees will continue to make us proud wherever their journeys takes them next. All of our retired nurses listed below finished their service by bringing comfort to those who needed it. These nurses carefully guided the care of patients and held their hands during some of the happiest and sometimes most stressful times of their lives. They helped countless patients over the course of their careers. We thank these retired nurses for embodying Nurse Excellence while at UTSW, which continues to set the standards for achievements in nursing every day.

The Rory Meyers Advanced Education Program for Nursing Excellence

Rose-Marie "Rory" Meyers was an expert nurse with a passion for giving to others in support of nursing education. As a first-generation college student who earned a degree in nursing, her experiences made her into a staunch advocate for those seeking to advance their education. A generous gift from the Meyers family allows for her philanthropic and humanitarian legacy to continue through annual scholarships. Each scholarship awards up to $10,000 per year for UT Southwestern nurses who meet eligibility and are selected by an internal panel of reviewers.

The funds can be used to pay for tuition, fees, supplies, and books for nurses pursuing an advanced degree. In keeping with the mission of Ms. Meyers, these scholarships will help lift the financial burden off several first-generation college graduates. There are 27 outstanding nurses in the inaugural class of scholarship recipients of the Rose-Marie “Rory” Meyers Advanced Education Program for Nursing Excellence. In all, more than 50 qualified candidates completed applications for these scholarships, and the recipients were selected by a committee of UTSW Health System nursing and operational leaders. The applicant names were blinded for the selection process.

Included in the list below are the awarded candidates’ names, levels of advanced nursing education, and current Health System appointments, including their area of service.

Asterisk signifies 2021 winners

Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)

  • Brandee Ashley - LVN Neurology General/Headache
  • St. Augustine Jefferson Jackson - Clinic Staff Coordinator, Student Health Services
  • Demetrice Williams - Program Coordinator, Residency Education

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)

  • Randi Baculi, B.S.N., RN, GERO-BC - Medical Surgical Unit-Based Educator
  • Theresa Cutler, B.S.N., RN - Zale Surgical Services/Operating Room RN Resident, Residency Education
  • Jermisha Davis, B.S.N., RN - Multiple Sclerosis Clinic/Neurology
  • Danielle Emmerton, B.S.N., RN - Cardiovascular ICU
  • Sara Garcia, B.S.N., RN, CCRN - Multispecialties ICU
  • *Rebecca Hudson, B.S.N., RN - Cardiovascular ICU
  • *Loren Lehtonen, B.S.N., RN, CCRN - Cardiovascular ICU
  • Candice Lowery, B.S.N., RN - Nurse Supervisor in the Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonary Clinic
  • Natalee Peak, B.S.N., RN, CURN - Ambulatory Urology - Lewisville
  • *Taylor Poyner, B.S.N., RN, CCRN - Vascular Surgery
  • Elizabeth Samuel, B.S.N., RN, ANM - Heart and Lung Transplant Unit
  • Vinita Samuel, B.S.N., RN - Medical Surgical Unit
  • Jacqueline Sanchez, B.S.N., RN, CCRN - Cardiovascular ICU
  • Calandra Renee Wheeler, M.S.N., RN, CMSRN - Neuroradiology Department (Imaging Services)

Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)

  • *LanChasica Alexander, M.S.N., PMHNP-BC, APRN - Pediatric Psychiatry
  • Keinisha Bullard, M.S.N., CRNA - Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management
  • Jessica Chorostecki, B.S.N., RN - Neurosurgery
  • Katie Ginder, APRN, AGACNP-BC - Advanced Heart Failure/VAD/Transplant
  • *Kimberly Glaser, APRN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neurocritical Care
  • Jamaal “Edward” Hawkins, M.S.N., CRNA - Anesthesiology and Pain Management
  • Crystal H. Kornak, M.S.N., RN, APRN, NNP-BC - Pediatrics Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Richard Leeflang, M.S.N.A., CRNA - Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

  • *Rebecca Brooks, M.S.N., APRN, RNC-NIC, PCNS-BC - Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Children’s Health Airway Program
  • *Stephanie Georgoudiou, M.S.N., APRN, AGPCNP-BC, CWCN-APRN - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Wound Care