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  • PCC nursing chair receives statewide honor

    Mary Nicks Portrait

    PUEBLO – Mary Nicks, chair of the Pueblo Community College nursing department, received the Luminary Award at the Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center Nightingale Nurse Recognition virtual ceremony on Aug. 22. She will be one of 52 Luminary recipients honored at the statewide Colorado Nurses Foundation virtual awards ceremony on Oct. 10. 

    Nicks was nominated in the leadership category for her work as a nurse educator. She has been an RN for 27 years and an educator for 20. She has been at PCC since 2005 and oversees multiple nursing programs at PCC’s Pueblo, Cañon City and Mancos campuses.

    “This honor has been one that I have looked forward to my entire career,” Nicks said. “It’s something that, as an RN, is a huge honor.”

    Nazalee Workman, the academic excellence administrator for the nursing program, nominated Nicks for the regional award. 

    “Mary is first and foremost an accomplished practitioner of nursing and a fierce advocate for evidence-based best practice,” Workman wrote in her nomination. “She upholds the high standards and rigorous dedication that is demanded in nursing, and brings this passion to her dealing with students and staff alike in the academic setting.”

    Nicks has educated more than 1,000 nurses in southern Colorado. She says one of her greatest thrills comes when her nursing students contact her to say they passed the state board exam.

    Nicks became a nurse aide when she was 17 and lived in Walsenburg. At 18, she was an EMT. 

    After becoming an RN, she moved to Glenwood Springs and became a labor and delivery nurse at Valley View Hospital. During that time, she became known for helping student nurses who were doing their clinical studies at the hospital. She began her teaching career in 2000 at Trinidad State Junior College.

    Nicks is proud to say that her oldest daughter also is an RN.

    “Truly, that was validation that my career has been successful,” said Nicks. “It was an amazing day when she told me she wanted to be a nurse because of me.”

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    Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.