In honor of National Nurses Week, we’d like to profile the wonderful faculty, students and alumni within our School of Nursing. Two nursing faculty, Drs. Terea Giannetta and Kathleen Rindahl, were recently recognized for their extraordinary work as nursing professionals.

Terea Giannetta: Valley Children’s Healthcare 2015 Nurse of the Year – Advanced Practice

Terea GiannettaWhen Giannetta is not in the classroom teaching nursing skills and theory, she is impacting patients at Valley Children’s Hospital, in her role as chief pediatric nurse practitioner. With her career at Valley Children’s, which spans over 23 years, she continues to make a positive influence to her patients, peers and community. In the May 2015 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 received support from the Magnet Recognition Program. She is also credited for advancing the care of pediatric patients locally, nationally and internationally. But above else, it is her steadfast leadership that is her greatest asset.

At Valley Children’s, she is responsible for reviewing and approving standardized procedures within the organization and continuously encourages nurses to practice the latest evidence-based care. She ensures the use of the new electronic medical records system meets the needs of advanced practice nurses.

The nursing profession has close family ties to Giannetta, who says her aunt’s life as a travel nurse in the 1940s was the inspiration for her own career path.

“I so admired her and then decided that nursing would be  a way to really understand not just helping people in  health care settings, but would give me the tools for life: communication skills, hands-on technical and nursing skills, scientific knowledge of how the body works and just plain common sense for dealing with life,” said Giannetta.

Photo Credit: Valley Children’s Healthcare

Giannetta joined the faculty of Fresno State’s nursing program in 1984, just one year after receiving her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University. For the past three decades, she has taught up and coming nursing students courses that include basic nursing concepts, pharmacology in nursing, advanced pathophysiology, graduate theory and practicum and much more. In 2012, she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree from Brandman University – and subsequently became the first nurse in Valley Children’s history to obtain a DNP degree.

Please read more about Giannetta’s accomplishment at Valley Children’s at the LINK or in the image above (right).


Kathleen Rindahl: Nursing Leadership Coalition 2015 Nurse of the Year – Education

KathyRindahlEducating others in the health care field is at the heart of Rindahl  – an Assisant Professor in the School of Nursing. Even though her teaching career at Fresno State is relatively new, she has made a strong impact since her arrival and elsewhere, having served as a migrant health nurse with the Fresno County Office of Education for 10 years prior to the teaching at the University.

It was during that time period that Rindahl 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 her team of nurses were able to provide health screenings and health care services to populations in rural areas where health access was not readily available.

She joined the faculty of Fresno State in 2013 and brought the idea of the health care mobile unit with her. The School of Nursing mobile unit, which got its start this past spring, allows current nursing students to travel around the Valley providing preventative health screenings, coordination of care and much-needed health education services. This has resulted in two ongoing research projects involving patient satisfaction of nursing care provided by student nurses and the effect of nursing education in rural and community health.

In fall 2014, though Rindahl’s staunch efforts, the School of Nursing received a grant to fund the “Spirit of Health” clinic – an onsite clinic located at the Spirit of Woman shelter, which provides housing 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 want to make sure they have the knowledge, skills, and most importantly, empathy, to be great nurse,” said Rindahl. “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.”

The Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin County is a professional organization that facilitates the progression of nursing through recognition of excellence, promoting professional practice, developing nurse leaders and influencing health policy. Each year, an RN in the region is nominated by his/her peers. Rindahl says she is humbled by her nomination and honor.

“So many of the nursing faculty and staff have helped me in my role as assistant professor this past two years at Fresno State, I would not have been able to accomplish the things I have with out their guidance and  support,” said Rindahl. “So I must share the honor with all of them as well.  We are a team. I love being a nurse and I really enjoy helping others! Whether is is educating them on self care, getting them out of pain, or providing them needed resources, I find very rewarding. As for me educating nurses, I never thought I would earn a degree that would allow me to do so, but it is the same thing, helping the students reach their goals.”

Rindahl and nursing student in the Spirit of Health Clinic.
Rindahl and nursing student in the Spirit of Health Clinic.
We congratulate Drs. Terea Giannetta and Kathleen Rindahl on their latest recognition! Also receiving honors from Valley Children’s Hospital are School of Nursing alumni, Shelly Reyes (Nurse of the Year, Clinical Practice) and Dana Ferris (Nurse of the Year, Education). Please click images below to read more about them. [Images courtesy of Valley Children’s Healthcare]