Sharing stories of how she chose Wright State University and later became the first Hispanic American to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the university in 1978 and then a Master of Science in Rehabilitation/Community Health Nursing in 1982, Nelda Martinez gave the College of Nursing and Health (CoNH) a gift from the heart Friday, Feb. 10 at a small ceremony in University Hall.
“I started thinking about what I can give back to Wright State and also honor my parents who helped me so much when I was first starting my nursing career here,” said Martinez, who also holds a Ph.D. in nursing from Ohio State and is currently serving as dean and professor of nursing at University of Texas–Brownsville.
Sharing with a room full of nursing students and educators at the CoNH that she was an antique lover and avid collector of historic books and documents, Martinez said she chose one of her most cherished pieces to give to the college—a first edition textbook written by famed nurse Florence Nightingale.
“She was one of the first nurses to begin identifying key areas of care to another person and she wrote a timeless book about it. Notes on Nursing,” said Martinez.
Martinez and others spoke about how Nightingale’s analysis and conclusions in the book are still relevant to the profession today.
Martinez noted it was similar to how her education from Wright State in the ’70s and ’80s was also still relevant to her career.
Martinez and 10 other Wright State alumni were honored on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the 12th annual College Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon at the Wright State University Nutter Center. During the ceremony, each college recognized former students who have gone on to make exceptional contributions to their professional fields while giving back to their communities.
The book is on display in the CoNH administrative offices.