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Winterboer receives DAISY Award

Venita Winterboer

Venita Winterboer, a lecturer in South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing, was honored as the college’s second annual recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty.

The award provides national recognition and appreciation to nursing faculty for their commitment and inspirational influence on their students. The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes, who died at 33 of ITP, an auto-immune disease. The Barnes family was very impressed by the clinical care Pat’s nurses provided, but what really overwhelmed them was the compassion and kindness that his nurses brought to Pat’s bedside day in and day out. It created The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses to honor nurses who go above and beyond and make extraordinary differences in patients' and families' experiences in health care.

Winterboer has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from SDSU. 

She said she didn’t “decide” to become a nurse educator, but gradually progressed into the role. 

“I had always worked in a hospital, and when my husband was transferred to Brookings, I happened to run into someone from the College of Nursing who asked if I wanted to help in the lab on a very part-time basis. From there, I quickly found that I loved working with students and watching them grow and develop to their fullest potential,” Winterboer said. She said she was shocked and humbled by the award.

Nominators praised Winterboer for perfectly depicting extraordinary nursing faculty in multiple forms—professionalism, teaching and service.

“She gives this extraordinary performance in all that she does through her passion, integrity and genuine caring spirit. She strives for perfection in all her work and interactions as a nurse educator and as a nurse role model for students and colleagues. She is completely dedicated to the nursing profession itself as well as to teaching students,” according to the College of Nursing’s submission to the DAISY Foundation.

The college called Winterboer a great leader who is approachable and encourages new ideas. Her positive spirit and energy contribute to the positive work culture at SDSU and give colleagues a sense of belonging.

Winterboer was praised for her passion for nursing in the classroom, the clinical setting and through her leadership role as the faculty adviser of the Student Nurses’ Association. 

“Her enthusiasm and leadership have made the SDSU Student Nurses’ Association a very vibrant, active organization for many years. Venita takes a genuine interest in students and their development as not only nurses but also as young adults. Students respect and trust Venita as she is known to support students in and out of the classroom,” college administrators reported in their submission.

One College of Nursing colleague who first was a student of Winterboer agreed.

College of Nursing instructor Danielle Currier, who nominated Winterboer for the award, said her first encounter with Winterboer was when Winterboer was an instructor during her undergraduate education. Currier was delighted when Winterboer later was chosen as her university-appointed mentor. “I had fond memories of her as a student, especially her fair and student-focused approach. Venita continues to display these characteristics today.”

Currier said Winterboer has continued to support and mentor her well beyond her assigned duties. Currier called Winterboer honest, caring and empathetic.

“She has made my transition in my early years as a faculty member much smoother with her welcoming demeanor and desire to help. She is an amazing nurse educator and a great role model for both new and seasoned faculty,” Currier said.

She said Winterboer’s many years of experience with the College of Nursing has not decreased her desire to deliver information in the classroom in new ways. 

“She is constantly updating her content, in-class activities and exam questions. She wants every student to succeed and pours her heart and energy into helping them. She spends time listening to students and offering support that is needed whether it’s a personal issue, test-taking skills or just making an on-campus connection to help the student feel less homesick,” Currier added. 

“Whether you are a student or colleague, Venita is always willing to take time out of her busy day to help or even just listen.”

The College of Nursing’s submission concluded: “Venita is an asset to nursing, the nurse educator profession and the SDSU College of Nursing.”