ScopeFaculty profile

Valerie Kiper

(Nursing ’13)
Regional dean of the School of Nursing at Amarillo and associate professor in the RN to BSN program

Q: What motivated you to pursue a career in nursing?

A: As far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. My grandmother and mom were both nurses and my early influencers and role models for nursing.

Q: What inspired your transition into nursing education?

A: Most of my career has been in executive nursing leadership in the acute care setting, but I always anticipated that my next “stop” would be academia. Educating future nurses is probably the single most important role I will have had in my nursing career. That’s what I am most passionate about.

Q: Describe your philosophy and approach to fostering a positive learning environment.

A: I had the philosophy in nursing leadership that it is paramount to establish and foster relationships with your staff at all levels, specifically by being visible, listening, communicating and providing follow-up. This same philosophy applies in education. People want to know that you care about them.

Q: What would you tell your high school self about pursuing a career in nursing?

A: The nursing profession is one in which you can chart your own path. Given our education, experience, unique perspectives and the centrality of our role in providing care, we have and will continue to play a significant role in transforming the health care system. Part of our discipline’s richness is its diversity and complexity that we have embraced since Florence Nightingale.

Q: What is the key to recruiting and retaining students for the underserved regions of Texas?

A: Research shows that frontline nurses have consistently ranked elements of flexibility, meaning and balance as the most important factors affecting their decision to stay in direct patient care. Recruiting students into the profession must begin as early as middle school to introduce nursing as a potential profession. Nursing programs must form strong alliances with local health care entities to develop scholarship opportunities and innovative clinical/academic partnerships.

Valerie Kiper<br />
Neal Hinkle