Fresno State School of Nursing faculty members Dr. Terea Giannetta and Dr. Kathleen Rindahl were recently recognized with Nurse of the Year awards for their work in the field.

Giannetta, an associate professor at Fresno State and chief pediatric nurse practitioner at Valley Children’s Hospital, was awarded the Nurse of the Year – Advanced Practice honor. Nominated by peers and staff members, the annual award is given to a nurse who exhibits Valley Children’s core values of excellence, integrity and compassionate care.

Rindahl, an assistant professor at Fresno State, received the Nursing Leadership Coalition’s Nurse of the Year – Education award. The coalition, a professional organization that facilitates the progression of nursing through recognition of excellence, honors a registered nurse each year whom is nominated by peers.

Also receiving honors from Valley Children’s were Fresno State alumni Shelly Reyes (Nurse of the Year – Clinical Practice) and Dana Ferris (Nurse of the Year – Education).

Giannetta’s career at Valley Children’s spans more than 23 years.

In the May Nursing Excellence Annual Report, Valley Children’s says of Giannetta, “Terea has inspired generations of nurses to achieve more than they thought possible. Hundreds of nurses at Valley Children’s and throughout Central California have been touched by her influence. The majority of master’s prepared nurses at Valley Children’s were taught by Terea. They frequently acknowledge her ability to inspire, challenge and link theory to practice.”

Giannetta has achieved numerous accolades at Valley Children’s and was instrumental in the establishment of the Nursing Research Council which promotes the understanding and use of research to enhance evidence-based nursing care. She is also credited for advancing the care of pediatric patients locally, nationally and internationally due to her expertise in multiple research studies.

Giannetta joined the faculty of Fresno State’s nursing program in 1984, just one year after receiving her master’s in nursing from the University. For the past three decades, she has taught courses that include basic nursing concepts, pharmacology in nursing, advanced pathophysiology, graduate theory and practicum. In 2012, she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Brandman University, becoming the first nurse in Valley Children’s history to earn that degree.

Rindahl joined the faculty at Fresno State in 2013 after serving as a migrant health nurse with the Fresno County Office of Education for 10 years.

She became an impassioned advocate for addressing the health needs of the underserved in the Central Valley. Through outreach clinics and leading a mobile health care team, Rindahl and a team of nurses were able to provide screenings and services to populations in rural areas where health access was not readily available.

When Rindahl arrived at Fresno State, she brought the idea of the health care mobile unit. The School of Nursing mobile unit, which got its start this past spring, allows nursing students to travel around the Valley providing preventative screenings, coordination of care and much-needed health education services.

Through Rindahl’s efforts, the School of Nursing received a nearly $149,000 Song-Brown grant to fund the “Spirit of Health” clinic – an onsite clinic located at the Spirit of Woman shelter. The clinic opened in fall 2014 and provides free health care services to women recovering from substance abuse issues, and their children. Under Rindahl’s supervision, bachelor’s and master’s students in the nursing program are able to get first-hand experience in community health and psychosocial health.

“I never thought I would earn a degree that would allow me to educate nurses, but it is rewarding helping students reach their goals,” Rindahl said. “I want to make sure they have the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, empathy to be great nurse. I frequently tell my students there will be a point in time when you will be taking care of me, and I want to feel safe in your care.”

Fresno State’s School of Nursing was ranked among the top 25 nursing programs in the nation by the Nurse Journal’s 2015 Western Rankings for America’s Best Nursing Schools. The program offers undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees.

Related links: