Eight UArizona College of Nursing Faculty Honored as 2022 Tucson Fab 50 Nurses

May 6, 2022

As part of National Nurses Week (May 6-12), held in honor of the largest health-care workforce in the United States, eight nurse leaders from the University of Arizona College of Nursing will be honored by their peers during the annual 2022 Tucson Fabulous 50 Nurses gala held by the Tucson Nurses’ Week Foundation on Saturday, May 7.

The 21st annual event is the city's capstone celebration to National Nursing Week and is sponsored by the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation. The Fabulous 50 nurses were chosen from throughout the Tucson area by their peers for their role modeling and mentoring of others, concern for humanity and their contributions to the Tucson community and the profession of nursing.

“As part of National Nurses Week, held in honor of the largest health-care workforce in the United States, eight nurse leaders from the University of Arizona College of Nursing will be honored by their peers during the annual 2022 Tucson Fabulous 50 Nurses gala held by the Tucson Nurses’ Week Foundation,"

Lauren Acosta, Assistant Clinical Professor

I feel humbled to have been nominated and selected to share this honor with some truly remarkable Tucson nurses. The last several years have challenged our profession in unforeseen ways, but as nurses we have risen to the occasion and continued to provide care, teach, and innovate. I have never been prouder to be a nurse. I am so grateful for this special recognition and feel incredibly privileged to be of service to my community, my students, and my patients.

Terry Bailey, Assistant Coordinator, Steele Innovative Learning Center

In my 45-year nursing career, I have been blessed with wonderful coworkers in both my bedside nursing role at Tucson Medical Center and in the Simulation Lab at the UA College of Nursing. The people I work with have made it possible to get through the challenges and hard times and celebrate the successes and rewards of our profession. In my clinical role, I have worked on the Women’s Care Unit caring for women in stages of life from childbearing to end of life. I have been inspired by their wisdom and strength and privileged to have the opportunity to make a difference during some of the most joyous and difficult times in their lives.

Moving away from the bedside and embracing education in nursing has been a natural transition. The pathway I took from LPN to ADN to BSN energized my love of learning and reinforced the reality that a good nurse needs to be a lifelong learner. Helping prepare nursing students at JTED, Pima Community College, Pima Medical Institute and now the UA College of Nursing is an honor and investment in our future.

Heather Carlisle, Associate Clinical Professor

I am delighted to be recognized with this group of 49 other fabulous nurses in 2022, as we come out the other side of the pandemic. My special nursing interests are older adults, end-of-life care, and existential distress -- all areas that have had special significance recently. It has always been a privilege to serve as a nurse, but even more so during these difficult times. I am so appreciative of this honor. Congratulations to all the other awardees!

Sara Dowdle-Simmons, Senior Lecturer

Receiving this award is boost to my soul. My favorite part of receiving this award is standing with my fellow nurses. You are my favorite people, and I am deeply honored and blessed to be recognized with you. This is a difficult time in the history of nursing, yet it has great potential for positive change.  I want to recognize the 1 million plus nurses who marched in Washington DC today and I pray they were able to articulate their passion in a way that will be respected and heard. Thankfulness and gratitude resonate in my soul because the dedication, your presence here represents to our profession, to our communities, to our patients and their families and in that there is great hope!

I believe the best nurses I know and one of the reasons I have stayed so long in the profession is having the “heart” for nursing, in addition to knowledge and skills. Patients, families and students can recognize if there is true caring and love that form the basis of all you do.

I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. I am grateful to my family, friends and coworkers for the love and support that have helped me grow and become the nurse I am today. Nursing is not merely a job, it is who you choose to be.

Ambur Lindstrom-Mette, Associate Clinical Professor

Being nominated as a Fab 50 Nurse is a humbling experience.  Being recognized for the hard work and dedication that goes into educating nurses, supports my dedication to the profession. I strive for excellence in teaching and practice and this award is truly an honor.  I am proud to be a nurse, and to become one of the Fab 50 nurses.

Helena Morrison, Associate Professor

The Fab 50 award is a wonderful Tucson tradition that helps to recognize our nurses from the “bench” to bedside, bringing our nursing community together. Our entire Tucson nursing community is fabulous, and I’m honored to be a part of and recognized by this fabulous group.

Christy Pacheco, Assistant Clinical Professor

Joining the community of Fab 50 nurses is an honor and privilege. I enjoy working with students and community members to promote quality and access to care to improve health status and health outcomes. Mentoring students from underserved backgrounds is particularly rewarding. Being honored as a Fab 50 nurse highlights and recognizes the critical work we do as nurses, from caring for patients, to teaching the next generation of health professionals, and collaborating with communities. This recognition demonstrates the value and role we have as clinical leaders, both from the within the nursing community and for our stakeholders.

Jessica Rainbow, Assistant Professor

It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Tucson Nurses Foundation as a Fab 50 Nurse. I am passionate about improving the health and safety of nurses around the world and here in Tucson through my research. This recognition gives me fuel to keep going. Thank you!