Photo: Nurse smiling. Message: Over 50 years of service. Photo: Nursing graduates in caps and gowns. Message: Outstanding students. Photo: Nurse in scrubs and mask. Message: Generating nursing science. Photo: Woman reading a book. Message: Educating leaders in healthcare. Photo: Nurses reviewing a medical chart. Message: Teaching critical thinking. Photo: Nurse holding stethoscope smiling. Message: Healing our community. Photo: Nurse examining child with stethoscope. Message: Advocating for patients. Photo: Nurse graduate in cap and gown. Message: Distinguished alumni community. Photo: Nursing graduate shaking hands with faculty in cap and gown. Message: Promising graduates.

Changing Worlds: Kristyn Yepa

Nursing has immense power to change lives and change worlds—and no form of it more so than community health nursing, which expands the caring and advocacy roles of the nurse to include theKristyn Yepa entire community as the patient.

Kristyn Yepa, a native of Jemez Pueblo in the red rock country northwest of Albuquerque, used her education at UNM College of Nursing to learn critical patient care skills and to expose herself to the many sides of nursing and health care delivery, from the hospital to advanced practice. But somehow she always knew she wanted to return to caring for her community. Maybe it was growing up surrounded by a Native American sensibility and outlook on healing.

“UNM changed my world,” Yepa says, “by giving me a new perspective on healing, combining modern practice with my cultural roots, teaching me how to really advocate for the patient. The College of Nursing helped me become a true professional.”

Today, Yepa (who won the College of Nursing’s 2010 Young Alumni Award) is the Public Health Program Manager at Jemez Pueblo and has made tremendous headway in designing new public health policies and procedures, which in turn help her team better care for and prevent diabetes, fight adult obesity, increase immunization against disease, and design a program to combat childhood obesity that incorporates native health and wellness traditions. Her programs have been so successful combating obesity, in fact, that Kathryn Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, recently visited Jemez Pueblo, one of just three tribes nationwide to receive special anti-obesity funding from the Centers for Disease Control.

“I hope to create a breakthrough team of providers here,” Yepa says. “One of my goals long-term is to inspire and motivate young women and men on the pueblo to get their bachelor’s degree in nursing and follow our lead, to revitalize community nursing to the point that they see what we’re doing and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that too!’ ”

How many worlds, small and large, will College of Nursing alumni transform, and will yours be one of them? With your vital support, the answers are “many” and “yes.”