Ambassador Spotlight: Teri Hernandez

Teri H Hernandez, PhD, RN
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

What made you want to become an FNINR Ambassador?
The goals of the NINR are at the forefront of my values and the values of the CU College of Nursing; our shared ideals include improving the health of individuals and families, and developing the next generation of highly trained nurse scientists who will lead the future of health by generating knowledge focused on chronic conditions, symptoms, and palliative care. To move our mutual vision forward will require courage and thoughtful advocacy through education of government leaders and key stakeholders on the importance of our work, its impact, and the resources required to support its success. I wanted to serve as an ambassador to support forward movement of these shared visions.

How long have you been an FNINR Ambassador?
2 years

What advice would you give your younger self?
Never give up on your vision, your questions, and on the power of the human spirit.

What made you want to pursue a career in nursing?
To bear witness to the human spirit. To support people and their spirit through sickness and health across the lifespan

What book should every nurse read?
Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl.

What has been your most interesting/surprising outcome while conducting nursing research?
One most surprising outcome while conducting nursing research is to witness the incredible commitment human participants make to research, to partnering with us in answering questions. Research participants are special people--they give of their time and their lives to 'pay it forward' so that others have a chance for a better future. They have inspired me in countless ways.

What is a fun fact many people may not know about you?
Before I went to nursing school, I was a musician and attended music school. I was a dedicated classical clarinetist and wanted to teach middle school music.

About Teri

Teri Hernandez is a tenured Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, and a Pediatric Nurse Scientist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Nutrition during pregnancy creates an early life exposure with lifelong impact. Dr. Hernandez has a deep commitment to research and leadership that supports optimization of child-maternal health. Her NIH-funded research program focuses on nutrition, glucose and lipid metabolism, and infant growth. A cardiac nurse by training, she is known across the field for executing complex clinical investigations. Her research has informed international nutrition and glycemic management guidelines for gestational diabetes. Dr. Hernandez has a distinguished track record of mentoring evidence generation, and translation through publication, teaching, and presentations. As Associate Dean for Research, she created infrastructure to support women’s health, midwifery, and pediatric psychiatric mental health research, and fellowships for student development in research and leadership. As a pediatric nurse scientist and Chair of the National Pediatric Nurse Scientist Collaborative, she has championed a shared vision to support interdisciplinary nurse-led research through academic-clinical partnerships. Dr. Hernandez earned her BS degree in Nursing at Northern Illinois University, and her MS and PhD from the University of Colorado.

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