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Past New Alumni Award Recipient: Dr. Cynthia Nuttal

Susan Tobin

Class of 1985, 1989, and 2010

Dr. Cynthia Nuttall is the recipient of the UNM College of Nursing 2012 New Alumni Award. She is associate chief of nursing at the New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS) in Albuquerque.  

Dr. Nuttall provides nursing leadership by taking charge of administration and management issues in Critical Care Nursing for the NMVAHCS. The NMVAHCS is the only Veterans Administration (VA) tertiary-care medical facility in New Mexico and routinely runs at full census. As a member of the NMVAHSC clinical leadership staff, she is noted for her commitment to a collaborative practice between service lines. Her personal knowledge of staff nurses’ names and the issues they confront on a daily basis in the delivery of excellent nursing care is well known throughout the NMVAHSC. She readily mentors and provides leadership to nursing staff at all levels and to other nonclinical staff within the NMVAHSC as well. 

Dr. Nuttall is committed not only to her own education, but to the learning of others. She represents the NMVAHCS in a national effort to implement the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader in strengthening bedside nursing care. Her dissertation research investigation is still the only study that examined the outcomes of the national VA undergraduate nurse residency program. This study evaluated the effects of an internship program on BSN students and their subsequent retention as VA employees. Presently, she facilitates the placement of advanced practice student nurses in NMVAHSC clinical practicums to increase their clinical skills and knowledge about the unique care requirements of veterans.

An active member of the New Mexico/Albuquerque community, she is a youth and adult soccer referee who has volunteered for many years as the American Youth Soccer Organization Region 104 Referee Assessor. This has resulted in the mentoring and training of more than 100 individuals in how to improve as soccer referees. She is also active in her church, a certified eyelash extensionist specializing in lash application on postchemotherapy patients, and the mother of four.

Dr. Nuttall continues to demonstrate excellence in nursing leadership and a commitment to healthcare. She will continue to inspire others as she progresses throughout her career!

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