CSU Voices and Views

Following in Her Footsteps

By Terea Giannetta
Nurse Practitioner
Faculty at Fresno State
Alumna of Sacramento State and Fresno State

My aunt was a traveling nurse when I was a child.  She often visited my parent’s home sharing stories about different places and opportunities.  She would talk about the various aspects of nursing and about caring for people.

I followed in my aunt’s footsteps with a desire to explore.  I wanted to learn the profession, but also seek out different places and perspectives.  In 1976, I received my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Sacramento State – a relatively urban environment with great hospitals.  I then completed my Master’s in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from Fresno State, among the first graduates from this new program.  Fresno offered an entirely different experience, with a county hospital that sent me into rural areas with often-limited resources and issues with access to care.

Through Brandman University, I am completing the Doctor of Nursing degree partially to teach, but primarily I wanted to be a better provider for my patients.  The medical field is full of strong voices and I believe that this new practice based doctorate empowers me to speak up in decision making with an equal voice.  Nursing and medicine need to be partners in helping change healthcare to make it more accessible to everyone.

Nurse practitioners have an incredible amount of knowledge to contribute to the care of the “whole patient,” in addition to treating diseases.  In my specialty of pediatric hematology and oncology, nurses must especially know how to convey information to children and their families in a way that informs without fear.  In nursing, the ability to communicate with compassion is a prerequisite. 

In addition to my clinical practice, I teach future nurses at Fresno State.  I want students to know that I will never ask them to do something that I do not do.  I want them to know that I am still a practicing nurse and excited to provide care for patients.  I celebrate with my Fresno State students, both undergraduate and graduate students, who pass their boards and are now practicing and serving in the surrounding communities. 

Ultimately, I take great pride in knowing that I am part of a nursing school at Fresno State that is improving the health of the Central Valley and training our students to succeed in a rewarding career.  The new program for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice that will be offered in the Fall of 2012, is another example of the dedication and excitement that is part of the nursing profession.  A profession and career that is every bit as full of opportunity and exploration as the stories my aunt once told.

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2 Comments to “Following in Her Footsteps”

  1. Marian Kawakami, Alumnus from Fresno, Says:

    Loved your article Terea. I too have an aunt who is a retired nurse, but was our nurse with our family physician in Caruthers. She was very professional, but always caring about everyone. I remember in third grade, I accidently burned by hand on an electric skillet. My parents immediatley called my aunt who made a special ointment and placed it on my hand. The pain went away and I had no scar. I was so impressed by her and have great memories. I now have two aunts and one cousin who are nurses. Nurses and anyone in the medical field have a special place in my life. Thank you for your devotion to a wonderful profession.

  2. Pam Kersey Ed D, MSN, RN, Other from Fresno, Says:

    Great article Terea! I just came across it while doing a search for something. Thanks for setting a good example for me years ago when I worked in the clinic with you and you mentored me in one of my first adjunct teaching positions. My doctoral dissertation (2011) which you can find in the library at SDSU is on the transition experience of nurses who become community college faculty. If you have a minute you may enjoy reading it. I am now in the business of growing new nurses. I have been a full time faculty member and the Assistant Director of the Nursing program at San Diego City College for almost 10 years now. Take care, Pam

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