Golden Grads

Class of 1970


Linda Meerdink (Evans) Carpenter

alum-photo-linda-carpenter-present.jpgalum-photo-linda-carpenter-past.jpgWhere did your nursing career take you?

I was so fortunate to find pediatric practice as a primary focus, primary and acute care. When I began to do staff development and precept nursing students, I found I loved that too. After I finished the MNSc with Family Nurse Practitioner certification, I taught Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  A few years later, in order to stay in academia, I completed the PhD at University of Arizona. I continued to teach and pursued administrative positions, the last 20 years at the University of Texas at Austin. I am most proud of the work we did at the School of Nursing school-based clinic, caring for children and families, while creating an excellent clinical practice site for graduate and undergraduate students.  The clinic was my joy and passion. I was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2012.

What advice would you give future nurses?

Nursing careers have so many diverse opportunities, there is something for everyone. I would encourage future nurses to pursue advanced degrees earlier in the career rather than later. The state of New Mexico and the country needs more advanced practice nurses in acute and primary care.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

University of New Mexico prepared the BSN graduates of 1970 very well for various careers in Nursing.   The nursing students today at the University of New Mexico can be very proud of their school and confident they will be ready to pursue their first jobs, and perhaps graduate school.


Cathy (Golden) Harris

alum-photo-catherine-harris-present.jpgalum-catherine-harris-past.jpgWhat was your favorite memory of when in school?

For my psychiatric rotation, I was assigned to the Mental Health Contact Team at BCMC. I made home visits, after patients were discharged, to see how well they assimilated back into their communities. I felt that I was really making a difference. I think that was a turning point for choosing my specialty, that I would work with families the rest of my career. I was a school nurse for 15 years in a small community, and was the nurse for kindergarten through 12th grade. I got to see my kindergartners graduate before I left and knew the families well.

What was your favorite part of their nursing career?

I loved that I could serve key decision-making roles that addressed health promotion and was family-centered. I truly learned the difference between "the ART of Nursing" and "the PRACTICE of Medicine," and when applied in the proper context, both are essential.

What advice would you give future nurses?

Follow your passion. Nursing has become such a broad field that you are only limited by your own "fences." Who you ARE, not your title, makes a difference to many more people than you will be able to name. You will never be "just a nurse," unless that is what you personally believe.

Linda K. (Naylor) Klotz

alum-photo-linda-klotz-present.jpgWhat was your favorite memory of when in school?

Kidnapping our pediatric clinical instructor Sandra Ferketich for a picnic breakfast on the last day of class!

What was your favorite part of their nursing career?

The people—patients, families and colleagues with whom I was blessed to share a portion of their lives. The continuous and exciting changes in medicine and health care. And the endless opportunities to learn and grow!

 What advice would you give future nurses?

Always be open to new experiences, traveling and learning. Approach your practice with an open mind and the philosophy of human caring. Hold on to the power of positivity, and of laughter.

Always remember that your “patient” encompasses more than one person, family, community or job. And, above all, take the time to care for and about yourself. You can’t care for others if you are not taking care of yourself.


Ann E. (Grummer) Sims

alum-photo-ann-sims-present.jpgalum-phot-ann-sims-past.jpgWhat was your favorite memory of being at the College of Nursing?

I remember taking maternity and OB-GYN classes with Elizabeth Bear and wanting to become a midwife.

Where did your nursing career take you?

I did some psychiatric nursing at the state hospital in Las Vegas, NM and McAuley Institute at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, CA.  Then I went into teaching at the Job Corps in Guthrie, OK, followed by 7 years at TVI as an instructor in the Nursing Assistant program and then the director for 19 years. Close to the end of these 19 years I was the dean of Health Occupations for 10 months while the school held a search for a new dean.

What was your favorite part of your nursing career?

I loved teaching.  It never got old.


Cheryl Leigh Stewart

alum-photo-cheryl-stwart-present.jpgalum-photo-cheryl-stewart-past.jpgWhere did your nursing career take you?

My nursing career took me into critical care nursing early on, and then into perioperative nursing for many years.  In Denver, I worked at a surgical center, both pre-op and PACU, and at one point was perioperative manager.  In Tucson, AZ I worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in pre-op.  It was a great experience.  I loved working with the indigent population.

What was your favorite part of their nursing career?

The favorite part of my nursing career was patient contact.  The areas where I worked gave me opportunity to deal mostly with patients one on one.  I also loved the opportunity to continue learning. Another favorite part of my career was precepting nursing students or new employees new to the unit.  Lastly, I loved the camaraderie among the nurses and other staff, and formed many friendships over the years. 

What advice would you give future nurses?

My advice to future nurses would be to view your work as a calling and not just a job or paycheck. 

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