Four inducted into Nursing Hall of Fame

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Four inducted into Nursing Hall of Fame

Nursing Hall of Fame 2009 inductees, from left: Irene Mendes, Gloria Fitzgerald, Nancy J. Clark. At right is Karin Livingston, daughter of the late Peggy Konkle.

Four Valley nurses were inducted into the Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame at its sixth annual awards ceremony.

Nancy J. Clark, RN, Ed.D; Gloria Fitzgerald, RN, MA; the late Peggy Konkle, RN, MSN, CPNP; and Irene Mendes, RN, MESN joined other nursing leaders recognized for their lifetime dedication and achievements in nursing with plaques in McLane Hall, which houses California State University, Fresno’s Department of Nursing.

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For 40 years, Clark of Atwater taught community health nursing. Before her retirement in 2008, one of her final projects resulted in the creation of a bachelor of science in nursing program at California State University, Stanislaus in 2002, which has since graduated 130 registered nurses. Her community health efforts have impacted local, state, national and international communities.

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Gloria Fitzgerald of Fresno has had a positive impact on many lives throughout her career. Nominators cited her calm demeanor, compassion, sense of humor, and genuineness, whether she was working directly with patients on the floor, helping a new mother adjust to parenthood or teaching and mentoring staff and new nurse leaders.

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The late Peggy Konkle was a pediatric nurse who embraced the essence of nursing throughout a career that spanned 25 years. Konkle, who lived in Coarsegold, worked to improve pediatric patient care with each step she took during her career. She chose to remain involved in direct patient care throughout her variety of positions.

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Irene Mendes of Hanford has been a registered nurse for 34 years and has served Central Valley residents in several capacities, but most significantly through her work as a school nurse. She has been instrumental in training health clerks in the schools, as well as being responsible for parent contact and follow up to assure that low achieving students received care enabling them to be healthy and more receptive to learning.

Created in 2004, the Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame is a collaborative project involving nursing leaders and is sponsored by Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services, the Nursing Leadership Council of the Central San Joaquin Valley, and the Mu Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

The Sept. 16 induction ceremony was at the Smittcamp Alumni House on the Fresno State campus.

For more information contact Cricket Barakzai, director, Central Valley Center for Excellence in Nursing at 559.451.3428.