Dr. Hernandez is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) School of Nursing and serves as Division Chair of The Holistic Adult Health Division and is now the director of the MSN Program – Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDS). She received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Austin Community College and her Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees at The University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at the UT School of Nursing.
Dr. Hernandez’s vision is motivating and inspiring faculty and students in nursing, but most importantly, being the leader to implement change that will lead the way for the success of those she meets. “I want to be an example to everyone who has ever doubted that they could accomplish a significant goal. When they meet me, I want individuals to realize the goals they thought unattainable can happen and become reality.”
As Division Chair, she focuses on recruitment, development, coaching, retention and promoting a culture which enables the growth and success for nursing faculty. She also serves as the Director of Leadership in Diverse settings- MSN program and is the facilitator for LeaDS Advanced Nursing Capstone where she works with graduate students and collaborates with community networks to implement innovative quality improvement and evidence-based projects.
Dr. Hernandez is also the academic co - sponsor for the Hispanic Nursing Student Association and President of the Hispanic Nurses Association - Austin Chapter. Through these two roles, she has encouraged and guided students to become leaders and advocates serving the community, supporting other college students interested in pursuing a degree in nursing, as well as mentoring high school students who are interested in the nursing field. Through her innovative thinking and ideas, she is preparing students at all levels of academia to be successful in nursing education through the development of formal coaching programs in which she is pairing junior level and senior level nursing students. She is also preparing to begin pairing high school students in the local area with nursing students.
Prior to teaching at the UT School of Nursing, Dr. Hernandez worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner and launched “Ability Care Austin” a home-health agency that provides home health aides to individuals who require care at home. As a long-time caregiver with experience and insight to a world that is rapidly emerging, she asked herself, “How can I impact the world of a caregiver and improve their life even if just for a moment?” As she reflected back on her care-giving years, she discovered her purpose and began dedicating her work to assisting informal and family caregivers maintain work/life balance.
Dr. Hernandez is currently working on publishing a caregiver concept/model that will provide caregivers with the ability to determine whether or not they are able to care for their loved one at home. But most importantly, included in this work is an Emergency Guide, providing caregivers with the tools to distinguish when they are no longer safe at home. This guide helps people recognize the emergency signs when the caregiver’s health or their loved one’s health is in jeopardy.
Supporting, educating and increasing culturally competent nursing to serve the world is what continues to drive and motivate Dr. Hernandez; she firmly believes that every mentor, leader, and influential educator she has encountered throughout her nursing education and career are what have given her the outlook, determination, and motivation to guide her to reach levels in life never imagined.