National Nurses Week: Spotlights

Read about Dr. Gaurdia Banister, Dr. Carolyn Phillips, Dr. Miyong Kim, and Dr. Donna Rolin.


Dr. Gaurdia Banister

Under Dr. Gaurdia Banister (MSN ‘83, PHD ‘88) executive leadership, the Institute for Patient Care at Massachusetts General Hospital stood ready to respond when duty called amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Institute quickly spearheaded inpatient simulation’s and PPE training for nurses who were deployed from other areas of the hospital such as: primary care, ambulatory care, research, and contract nurses. They also led efforts to address potential PPE supply shortages and health literacy efforts to ensure educational materials met the needs of their community. We honor Dr. Banister and her team for their demonstrating swift acting leadership and a commitment to protecting health care workers and their patients. Happy Nurses Week/Month!


Dr. Carolyn Phillips

As our graduating class expressed mixed emotions about starting their career amid a pandemic, we witnessed our faculty and nurses from across the country stepping up to share their reflections and words of wisdom. Dr. Carolyn Phillips (PHD ‘19), a champion for sustaining compassionate care among caregivers, partnered with us to capture the spirit of this support structure through song. Her non-profit, Songs for the Soul, was founded to support the well-being of society’s professional caregivers through storytelling and music, and to foster a culture that celebrates and sustains compassionate care. “Who Else But You” will play at this year’s graduation to celebrate the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing students and faculty. Keeping nurses mentally healthy is vital not only to compassionate care, but to the well-being of our global community. We honor Dr. Phillips for her leadership and commitment to compassionate mental health for nurses everywhere.


Dr. Miyong Kim

Over the course of her research career, Dr. Miyong Kim has made significant scholarly contributions on the improvement of cardiovascular health, hypertension, and diabetes in underserved and understudied health disparity populations. Under Dr. Kim’s leadership, the School of Nursing’s Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science (TCRSS), is spearheading efforts to be a national leader on advancing self management science. Her most recent project, AMEN - African American Church-Based Mental Health and Wellness Program funded by the City of Austin, works with local churches to address mental health disparities affecting African American neighborhoods. We honor Dr. Kim for exemplifying a Nursing’s primary mission: to bring evidence-based health care (both mental and physical) to the communities who need it most.


Dr. Donna Rolin

As our nation strives to maintain social connections while remaining physically distant, we are reminded of how vital one-on-one mental health resources are to a healthy society. Thanks to Dr. Donna Rolin and her students, we have been tackling these issues head on by providing virtual, interdisciplinary mental health care to underserved populations. Dr. Rolin has turned 23 years of service into an innovative practice by integrating students from disciplines across the university into one program. Strengthening the bond between nurses and other health care professionals has provided valuable insights into providing patients with more effective mental health care. We honor Dr. Rolin for exemplifying leadership in nursing by addressing the immediate needs of a vulnerable population while also contributing to the expansion of innovative nursing practice.