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Past New Alumni Award Recipient: Susan Tobin

Susan TobinClass of 2008

Susan Tobin is the recipient of the UNM College of Nursing 2011 New Alumni Award. Sue’s passion and primary interest of work has always been pediatric oncology, and as the current unit director of the Pediatric Clinic and Pediatric Infusion Unit at UNM Hospitals, she has worked to continuously support her nursing staff and improve the health and delivery of care of her patients and their families.

Sue is continually assessing the needs of the clinic’s patients and families. Using the Plan-Do-Study-Act model of nursing care to evaluate best clinical practice and standards, she has led the Pediatric Clinic in strengthening its performance improvement. Under Sue’s leadership, there has been an increase in the number of nurses trained to administer the chemotherapies/biotherapies and other IV infusions done in the nurse-run Pediatric Infusion Unit. Recognizing the need for children to be sedated for outpatient radiology procedures, her initiative led to the creation of an outpatient radiology sedation program for children. As a result, more Pediatric Clinic nurses have received training in both moderate and deep sedation.

Sue goes above and beyond by taking a personal interest in knowing her staff and meeting their needs. Recognizing that meeting family and personal needs is important in helping staff to meet the demands of their schedules at work, Sue believes “If we nurture each other, we nurture our patients.” She has made it possible for many of the nursing staff to earn advanced degrees and training by ensuring that work schedules are flexible around school needs. In 2003 and 2006, Sue was awarded “Preceptor of the Year,” a prestigious award voted on by her peers to recognize her excellence in teaching and training other nurses.

Sue is tremendously invested in helping shape future health care providers. She has invited the nursing schools from UNM and other community colleges to bring nursing students in to observe and train with the nurses in the Pediatric Clinic. She encourages the staff nurses to include and welcome nursing students, and commends them when they do.

Her commitment to her patients does not end with her job. Donating her time and talents, she has volunteered as a hospice nurse and has served as a volunteer nurse at both “Camp Enchantment,” a camp for children with cancer, as well as “Sibling Camp,” a camp serving siblings of children with cancer. At her own expense and time, Sue has also received training and volunteers as an advocate for End of Life Nursing Education and Care, an organization committed to teaching nurses how to lend support and care to families of dying children.

A remarkable nurse, mentor, leader, and person, Sue leads by example and demonstrates excellence in nursing, compassion, understanding, and loyalty. As a nurse leader, her service will continue to inspire all who know her.

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