Theoktisto remains in close contact with Clinical Associate Professor Rose Nealis, PhD, APRN, who has been a nursing faculty member for decades. In 2018, Nealis nominated Theoktisto for the college’s Preceptor of the Year Award, which she received at the college’s Donor Recognition Event.
“Rose Nealis is an incredible person,” Theoktisto said. “She has devoted her entire life to being a nurse. She pushes her students to go above and beyond. She wants all of her students to succeed and achieve more than even she has in her career, which is the mark of a true educator.”
Hector Torres is a member of one of the most-recent graduating class, earning his DNP in May. He said he found inspiration and encouragement through his faculty chair Clinical Associate Professor Laurie Duckworth, PhD, APRN.
“I worked through my DNP, and it was very challenging balancing work, studying, papers, group projects and my DNP project,” Torres said. “I got a lot of support from Dr. Duckworth. She helped me turn a rough idea into a feasible project and guided me every step of the way.”
Torres earned a bachelor’s in political science before attending the Accelerated BSN program and then the DNP program. He worked at UF Health in trauma and vascular surgery intensive care throughout the DNP program, and it was there that he developed the basis of his DNP project, which involved using hospital data to show that patients with benign prostate hyperplasia are at an increased risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
“Dr. Duckworth helped me take an initial problem I encountered as a nurse and turn it into a DNP project,” Torres said. “She showed me it was important to establish that the problem exists before proposing a solution, and she was always there to remind me why my project was important for patients and not just a graduation requirement.”