Assistant clinical professor’s passion for nursing world remains strong

In almost a decade, Vivian Nowazek has seen phenomenal growth at the University of Houston-Victoria’s School of Nursing.

Vivian Nowazek

The assistant clinical professor started working at UH Sugar Land in January 2007, one semester after UHV’s first nursing program began. The school has since expanded to the UH System at Cinco Ranch and added Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing programs. This May, the MSN family nurse practitioner program will graduate its first group of students.

“It’s fantastic,” Nowazek said about the growth. “One of the things I value the most is the School of Nursing’s collaboration with the communities and business members we serve.”

The collaborations with area hospitals and clinics in Fort Bend and Victoria counties are a win-win for the school and the community, Nowazek said. It’s not only the health industry that’s giving UHV a hand. Other businesses have supported the nursing programs and offered student scholarships, she said.

Nowazek has been interested in the nursing profession all her life.

“I’ve always wanted to work in health care,” she said. “As I have gone through my career, I became interested in public health and then eventually the future of practitioners.”

Nowazek has been a nurse for more than 30 years. Before working as an assistant clinical professor, she was a clinical nurse specialist at Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in Houston.

As a nursing faculty member, Nowazek gets the chance to work hands-on with students, something she truly enjoys.

“I love clinical. I love that interaction. I think it’s really important that we are grooming nurses for their career,” she said.

In 2004, Nowazek was named among the Top 20 nurses in the Texas Nursing Association’s District 9, which covers the Houston area.

“It was thrilling,” she said. “I was working for Methodist at the Center for Professional Excellence at the time. It was a great honor to be nominated and chosen. You go up against phenomenal nurses.”

Nowazek still often contributes. She is involved with the Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Partnership. This committee helps to set the Texas plan to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. She also has served on the UHV Faculty Senate.

“Dean Kathryn Tart encourages us to be actively involved in the university,” she said. “It has been a great way to get to know the university and its phenomenal people.”

I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a student, contact Jeremy Shapiro, UHV communications manager, or call 361-570-4296.

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.