Nursing assistant professor helps children, students

Shainy Varghese

Shainy Varghese is at her best when she’s helping someone else. And with her feet planted firmly in the nursing world, the University of Houston-Victoria assistant professor is exactly where she should be.

Varghese works as a pediatric nurse practitioner, spending several hours a week helping ailing children feel better. Her work extends to stressed-out parents, too. She makes it a point to give them a chance to talk or vent if needed.

“It’s not just physical healing I get to offer,” she said. “I help with the emotional aspect, too. And that really is rewarding.”

Varghese earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and midwifery from India’s Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before moving on to the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where she earned her master’s degree. She later earned a doctorate in nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Although she didn’t originally plan on going into education, the longtime nurse got her start in the field after earning her master’s. Varghese joined on with a community college nursing faculty and then with the clinical faculty.

It was a student who suggested education might be a good fit.

“The student told me I’d make a good teacher,” she said. “That was really what motivated me to teach.”

The decision proved a good one because she enjoys helping guide and teach the industry’s future professionals.

It was 2007 when she joined UHV’s School of Nursing, and Varghese said the university has undergone tremendous change through the years. Not only has the faculty grown, but course offerings have extended into Houston-area communities.

“When I started, we had two programs in the nursing school,” she said. “I was the school’s fourth faculty member. Watching the program grow, it’s like watching a child grow. It’s happening really fast, and it’s exciting. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Varghese’s work continues outside of clinic and classroom walls.

She serves as secretary of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America and enjoys keeping active at church. At home, she divides her time between cooking, gardening and listening to music.

All that might make for a busy schedule, but in her book, that’s OK.

“I’m a person who gets bored when I’m just doing one thing,” she said as she laughed. “I like to be busy. It keeps everything interesting.”

The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, email Paula Cobler, UHV director of marketing and communications, or call her at 361-570-4350.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342