UHV instructor takes leadership role in state nursing organization

Denise Neill

An assistant professor at the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing is using her recent election as president of the Texas Nursing Association, District 20 to help improve the lives of nurses and nursing students.

Denise Neill was elected president in May after serving as interim president while the organization reorganized and revitalized earlier this year.

“I’m encouraging all the nurses and nursing students to get involved in this organization that represents the interests of nurses in Texas,” Neill said.

In her new position, Neill participated from March to early May in conference calls between state nurse leaders and legislators. She acted as the eyes, ears and voice for nurses in Wharton, DeWitt, Victoria, Goliad, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca and Matagorda counties.

She forwarded information about pending bills to area membersand students studying the nurse’s role in policy. She also encouraged her nursing students to get involved in the political process that affects nursing, including attending Texas Nurses Day on March 3 at the Capitol in Austin.

“Part of their educational process for earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree is involvement in the political process,” Neill said.

Neill doesn’t tell students what stand they should take on issues, just that they should become involved since state policy often affects the nursing profession, she said.

This urging fit in perfectly with the roles, policies and ethics class she taught during the spring semester.

“Dr. Neill is a wonderful example of how UHV faculty and students are taking leadership roles in the communities in which they live and work,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the school. “She’s done and will continue to do a great job for nurses in this area.”

During her term, which will last until at least May, Neill hopes to incorporate ITV learning into nurse continuing education and grow the group beyond its current 50 members.

Jere Hammer, a UHV assistant professor in the School of Nursing, serves as the organization’s Web mistress.

For more information, including how to join the organization, visit

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.

Paula Cobler