Faculty Profile: Alejandra Valenzuela
Last Updated on August 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published August 14, 2019
By UC Staff
Alejandra Valenzuela is an experienced nurse with a passion for her field and a desire to pay it forward.
Name: Alejandra B. Valenzuela, DNP
College/Department: School of Nursing – Graduate Studies
What do you teach? I am the coordinator for the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program
How long have you been a teacher? 5 years
What’s your favorite classroom activity or teaching technique? I enjoy unfolding case studies. It gives students an opportunity to think critically and work through a real patient situation.
What background and experience do you have in your field of study that benefits your students? I completed my clinical nurse specialist certification in 2002 and practiced as a nurse educator, where I provided courses for hospital nurses. I also assisted in the development of online courses based on the nurses’ educational needs. In clinical practice, I worked in a variety of settings including pediatric intensive care, on a general hospital floor, in an outpatient infusion clinic and in a primary care clinic. In 22 years of providing patient care, I had many interesting experiences that I can now share with the students.
What do your students like best about your classes? My students have expressed interest in the amount of interaction that I have with them. I am readily available and I stimulate their thinking by adding my own nursing experience. Besides the science of nursing, I try to convey my passion for nursing as a vocation.
What do you love most about being a teacher? I am able to pay it forward. I feel that I am in the perfect role to impact the molding of these new nurse practitioners. I really enjoy working with professional nurses who have the motivation to improve their practice and are eager to learn.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy exercising. Taking a run or going to the gym with my oldest son is the best way to release stress. It clears my mind and gives me a great appreciation for being healthy and strong.
What’s your favorite place on campus? I really enjoy sitting outside the nursing building in the courtyard. From time to time I go out by the grassy area and enjoy the elevated view to I-10 and across the border to Juárez. It reminds me of how blessed I am.
What’s your favorite UTEP event, and why? Graduation. It is such a happy time for the students and I appreciate being part of their special day.
What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student? It is not the smartest student that achieves success, but the student who perseveres. I remember getting on the elevator as a 5th semester undergrad student and having an 8th semester student tell me about their horrible experience and how hard nursing school was. At first, I felt a surge of fear, but then I told myself, “If you can do it, I can too.” If I graduated, so can you. You just need to hang in there and work a semester through!