NDSU nursing faculty member Nancy Turrubiates receives statewide award

photo of Dr. Nancy Turrubiates

Dr. Nancy Turrubiates, U.S. Army nurse and faculty member in the NDSU School of Nursing may be the ultimate multi-tasker. Turrubiates, lecturer and public health clinical coordinator in the School of Nursing, has received the North Dakota Legendary Nurse Award for Faculty Achievement from the North Dakota Center for Nursing.

The Faculty Achievement Award recipient demonstrates excellence in teaching, engaging students in the love for nursing, and supports student growth. Peers in the North Dakota nursing community nominate candidates for the award.

Nominators noted that Turrubiates (pronounced Tur roo bee ah’ teez) demonstrates both excellence in teaching and ingenuity in developing public health clinicals each semester.

Turrubiates engages students and supports their growth in knowledge of public health. She led the students to address aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic by incorporating public health interventions such as screening, case finding and outreach.

The U.S. Army Major provides nursing students with opportunities—often embedded in the community instead of the classroom.

“Providing healthcare always takes skill and teamwork, but the pandemic is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ event where NDSU Nursing students across the state stepped up in many ways to help their communities,” said Dr. Carla Gross, nursing chair and associate dean. “NDSU Nursing faculty, including Dr. Nancy Turrubiates, were among many coordinating that critical assistance.”

Under the guidance of Turrubiates, nursing students in the community health class at NDSU helped the homeless population of the Fargo-Moorhead community, the YWCA, residents of permanent supportive housing, NDSU campus community, migrant population of FM area, and NDSU Food Pantry. Nursing students also provided nutrition/screening education, blood pressure screening, and food pantry resources to families.

In addition, under Turrubiates’s leadership, nursing students provided mental health information and resources to students living on campus at NDSU as the pandemic resulted in an increase in stress and mental health concerns.

“Providing assistance to an individual within your own community takes the concept of intervention out of the textbook and makes it real; showing just how capable we all are of making a difference,” said one NDSU nursing student who participated in activities to help the community.

In addition, during the pandemic NDSU nursing students delivered care packages to more than 200 students quarantined on campus, providing factual information and support. These health and well-being visits resulted in a wide variety of responses from the quarantined students including, tears, release of frustrations, comfort in being able to talk to someone, and emotional and outsized thank you’s to the nursing students.

NDSU nursing students were also trained and provided COVID-19 testing and contact tracing at the beginning of the pandemic. NDSU Nursing students in Fargo and in Bismarck were among the first to help vaccinate healthcare workers and community members during the pandemic.

Turrubiates also helped arrange for NDSU nursing students to lead a community health fair for an underserved group in Moorhead, Minnesota, providing services in the clients’ primary language with the help of translators, while gaining cultural and community awareness.

NDSU Nursing students in Fargo were part of a county public health team that vaccinated more than 10,000 people over six months.

Turrubiates is also a vital member of the Red River COVID Task Force and a member of the military. She was mobilized in 2020 as part of an 85-person team providing COVID-19 education to civilian hospital/personnel and vital screening/testing support. This experience and her teaching excellence resulted in unique clinical experiences for NDSU nursing students during the pandemic.

She became a direct commission officer in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2008.

In October 2021, Major Nancy Turrubiates, U.S. Army, was installed as Commander/Officer in Charge for the 7410 Troop Medical Clinic.

Dr. Nancy Turrubiates combines her expertise as an Army nurse with her innovative teaching and love of students, helping to prepare NDSU nursing students during an unprecedented time in healthcare.

With sites in Fargo and Bismarck, the NDSU School of Nursing prepares the future nursing workforce to provide exemplary patient care.

NDSU Nursing provides accredited programs to part- and full-time students, working professionals, and students seeking online educational opportunities. The School of Nursing also is a ROTC Center of Nursing Excellence.

Degree programs include:  Pre-licensure BSN in Fargo and in Bismarck, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner in Fargo and in Bismarck, online LPN to BSN, and online RN to BSN.

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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