Patient Resources

2023 Nursing Annual Report

Excellence is our starting point ... not our finish line.

Message from the Chief Nurse Executive

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

2023 marked a period of unparalleled excellence at UT Southwestern, a testament to the tireless dedication of our team of nearly 4,000 nurses. As we reflect upon the past year, I want to not only commend the tangible achievements detailed in this report but also honor the intangible yet invaluable moments of compassion, empathy, and human connection that define the very essence of nursing. Each interaction, regardless of its scale, has played an integral role in advancing our journey toward continued excellence in patient care, reaffirming our commitment to making a meaningful impact every single day.

As a twice Magnet-recognized health system, we actively embrace the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet nursing principles and three core pillars that have guided our pursuit: investment, innovation, and impact.

Investment: Over the past year, we have made significant strides in bolstering our patient care team. This is thanks in no small part to the consistent support of our institutional leadership in developing and retaining top talent.

I was so proud to learn in October that the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) honored UT Southwestern with its Best Workplace for Men in Nursing award. Out of a competitive pool, our Medical Center emerged as one of the top three health systems to earn this recognition. We value the importance – and the impact – of representation on our health care teams. Each male nurse brings his own perspective, and it helps to create an environment where patients from different backgrounds feel seen and heard throughout their care journey.

At UT Southwestern, we welcome nurses to advance their roles and pursue their interests in advanced education and research. As of the end of the 2023 fiscal year, an impressive 78% of our nurses had earned a B.S.N. degree or higher. We have cultivated an environment that nurtures growth and curiosity, resulting in thriving outcomes for both our nurses and patients alike.

We remain dedicated to nurturing a team of highly respected individuals – characterized by boundless empathy, a passion for learning and research, and advocacy for our community's needs.

Innovation: UT Southwestern continues to set the innovational bar higher, one very tangible example being the incorporation of Moxi robots into the workflow at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital (CUH). These autonomous units handle routine tasks, allowing our nurses and patient care technicians to focus more on direct patient care. Each week, our Moxi units assist with about 500 deliveries of care-related materials, streamlining our operations and improving the efficiency of our health care services.

In the middle of the year, hospital leaders unveiled a new location and system enhancements for our Central Monitoring Unit (CMU). The new CMU benefits both staff and patients with improved patient-to-monitor technology ratio for personalized care and the latest telemetry technology for precise patient management – all leading to an elevated patient experience.

The new location – which includes updated screens and monitoring system – enables staff to have a more comprehensive view of the monitors for patients who are on telemetry and other equipment at both CUH and Zale Lipshy Pavilion.

Impact: Awards are more than just symbols – they signify the concrete recognition of our impact. Throughout 2023, our hospital units were honored with accolades that underscore our nurses’ professional expertise. Notably, we earned our second Designation with Distinction from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation Practice Transition Program, a testament to our dedication to smoothly integrating new nurse graduates into our organizational culture. Additionally, our Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit became the first unit at UT Southwestern – and one of only four neuro ICUs nationwide – to achieve the gold level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Our nurses' dedication and impact extend far beyond our hospital walls, resonating throughout our community. In 2023, their outstanding contributions were celebrated when 12 of our registered nurses were recognized with D Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing Award, and an additional 11 of our RNs were proudly inducted into the esteemed DFW Great 100.

In all, 2023 was yet another notable milepost on our journey. We remain dedicated to nurturing a team of highly respected individuals – characterized by boundless empathy, a passion for learning and research, and advocacy for our community's needs. Our commitment extends beyond the North Texas region; we aspire to make a meaningful impact nationwide by putting our skills and our compassionate care to good use. It is a privilege to work hand in hand with such exceptional hearts and minds. Together, we will persist in our mission to advance nursing excellence here at UT Southwestern and beyond. Our continued determination to provide exemplary care to our patients underscores our steadfast resolve to uphold this vision for many years to come.


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 the Associate Vice President and Health System Chief Nurse Executive; David Wyatt, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, FAAN, FAORN, Chief Nursing Officer, University Hospital; Susan Hernandez, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, Associate Vice President and Health System 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.

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 a staunch advocate for those seeking to advance their education. A generous gift from the Meyers family allows 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.

In keeping with Meyers’ mission, the funds can be used to pay for tuition, fees, supplies, and books for nurses pursuing an advanced degree, helping lift the financial burden of first-generation college graduates. In all, more than 50 qualified candidates completed applications for the 2023-2024 Rose-Marie “Rory” Meyers Advanced Education Program for Nursing Excellence scholarship, and recipients were selected by a committee of UTSW Health System nursing and operational leaders with applicant names blinded for the selection process. The 24 outstanding awardees are:

  • Yogeswary Abdul-Mutakabbir, CNA, Float Pool – Patient Care Services
  • Mary Ireoluwa Adebayo, RN, Zale 6 Rehabilitation Unit
  • Randi Baculi, B.S.N., RN, GERO-BC, 10 Green Medical Surgical
  • Rebecca Brooks, M.S.N., APRN, PCNS-BC, Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Shannon Chalk, B.S.N., RN, CCRN-CMC, NE-BC, Nurse Manager, 2 Orange Surgical Intensive Care Unit
  • Debra Collins, M.S.N., CRNA, Anesthesiology and Pain Management
  • Rekike Ehrenberg, B.S.N., RN, PCCN-K, Central Monitoring Unit
  • LaTasha N. Epps, CMOA, Multidisciplinary Clinic – General Surgery
  • Richard Fernandez, M.S.N., RN, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department
  • Gloria Garcia, LVN, IMSS Rheumatology
  • Kimberly Glaser, M.S.N., APRN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, UT Southwestern Neurocritical Care
  • Verita Ingram, M.B.A., B.S.N., B.B.A., RN, Nurse Manager, Imaging Services Nursing
  • Mona Jackson, B.S.N., RN, Care Coordinator Care Coordination
  • Sonia Joseph, M.S.N., RN, Acute Stroke Unit/Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
  • Melissa Loayza, M.S., CRNA, Anesthesiology and Pain Management
  • Afnan Mohamed, B.S.N., RN, Operating Room, Neurosurgery
  • Lupita Morgan, M.P.H., B.S.N., RN, Imaging Services Administration
  • Peter Palko, M.S.N., CRNA, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management
  • Stefanie Smith, M.S.N., CRNA, AN-Department Administration
  • Anitha Thomas, B.S.N., RN, PCCN, 10 Blue CV Surg/Thoracic
  • Shinto Thomas, M.S.N., RN, PCCN-K, Director, Clinical Education and Professional
  • Amy Weaver, M.H.A., B.S.N., RN, CEN, PMH-BC, Inpatient and Interventional Psychiatry/ECT
  • Calli Wood, M.S.N.-Ed., RN, NPD-BC, Director, Ambulatory Nursing Education, Training, and Professional Practice
  • Abby Woodard, B.S.N., RN, Ambulatory Nurse, Multispecialty Pediatrics