Dr. Timian Godfrey Honored for Excellence in Nursing

Jan. 6, 2021

Timian Godfrey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CPH, clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in the advanced practice FNP-DNP program, has been recognized by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) with the prestigious State Award for Excellence, which is given annually to a dedicated nurse practitioner in each state who demonstrates distinction in their area of practice.

Dr. Godfrey oversees two grant-funded programs at the University of Arizona Health Sciences to bring underrepresented groups into the nursing profession, including an Indian Health Services grant aiming to increase the presence of Native American nurses in tribal communities. She co-leads the equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) task force at the College of Nursing and serves on the interprofessional UArizona Health Sciences ED&I task force. Outside of the university, she advances these values through her work in diversity, equity and inclusion with the Western Institute of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“The honor graciously provided by the AANP reaffirms the importance of the work I am involved with regarding equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education," ~ Timian Godfrey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CPH

“The honor graciously provided by the AANP reaffirms the importance of the work I am involved with regarding equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education,” Dr. Godfrey said. “By creating structures and processes encompassing inclusive excellence in health profession education, a socially just workforce is created and prepared to effectively impact health justice. Knowing a national organization also recognizes the value in this provides motivation to continue working toward the achievement of health equity.”

Creating harmony in scholarship and practice is a priority for Dr. Godfrey. She is of Hawaiian-Japanese and Navajo descent. Dr. Godfrey belongs to the Red Bottom clan of the Navajo Nation and her maternal grandfather is from the Salt clan. A primary motivation to pursue a nursing career is her personal conviction in Hózhó, a Navajo belief that health and well-being for all living things result in physical and spiritual beauty, harmony and goodness. Dr. Godfrey reads academic articles and consults with peers, students and communities to broaden her knowledge, and strives to attain and maintain Hózhó by learning from the stories of others. By empowering those she works with, she said beauty and harmony are created, and better outcomes are achieved.

Dr. Godfrey also works as an advanced practice clinician with TribalEM, an emergency medicine leadership company that works exclusively with government and tribal health programs.

“Engaging with Native people in the emergency department offers an opportunity to provide the meaningfully exceptional care these communities so greatly deserve,” Dr. Godfrey said. “Acknowledging and honoring the immense value of the traditional and cultural knowledge unique to each tribal nation promotes best outcomes.”

“In the 10 years since Dr. Godfrey became a nurse, she has generated an outstanding record of scholarship, leadership and service to underrepresented groups, including Native Americans,” said her nominator Lori Martin-Plank, PhD, FNP-BC, NP-C, GNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP, clinical associate professor in the College of Nursing.

Dr. Godfrey said the College of Nursing provides an incredibly supportive environment for her to do work on improving equity, diversity and inclusion in health care. She credits mentors and a collaborative mindset in the college for her success.

Since beginning her career as an AmeriCorps scholar in rural Utah, Dr. Godfrey has accumulated more than 17 years of health care experience working in the capacities of a certified nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, registered nurse, and now as a nurse practitioner. She is continuing her public health advocacy through efforts to establish an additional Arizona Health Education Center (AHEC) aimed at developing education opportunities in health sciences with the 22 tribes in Arizona.