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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

September 2014 | Vol. 16, No. 1

Gaurdia Banister, UW Distinguished Alumna

When Casper native Gaurdia Banister (B.S. ’80) decided to attend the University of Wyoming, she knew she had ability in the sciences, but she did not know she would chose to become a nurse. She spent a little time settling into college life in her first year, continuing pursuits from her high school days such as cheerleading and running track. But then faculty at the nursing school provided strong mentoring and guidance, and Banister ended up excelling in the program. When she graduated, she was honored as being the nurse with the best bedside manner.

“The incredible, passionate, knowledgeable faculty supported me along the way,” she says. “It is very powerful as a student when you know your faculty has confidence in you. Receiving that award made me feel so honored that I was perceived to be a nurse who desperately cared for and took good care of patients. That passion has stayed with me—passion that whomever I am working with [knows] I am taking the very best care of them.”

Today, Banister is the executive director of the Institute for Patient Care at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. This is one of the largest hospital-based institutes in the country. Serving as the first executive director of the institute, she oversees four centers, which are focused on patient and family learning, clinical and professional development, nursing research and innovation in patient care delivery.

She has been instrumental in the development of a dynamic new model of clinical education for nursing students called the Dedicated Education Unit. Banister has also been involved in efforts to diversify the MGH nursing workforce by developing models of clinical leadership development involving mentors for minority nursing students.

“Focusing on health equity and health disparity issues is critical,” Banister says. “Nurses who look and sound like the patients they care for is important, but we also need those nurses around the table making administrative decisions.”

After earning her nursing degree at UW, Banister went to the University of Texas for her Master of Science in nursing in 1983 with a focus in psychiatric/mental health nursing and a minor in nursing administration. She also earned her doctorate in psychiatric/mental health nursing in 1988.

“I feel like I’ve had one of these careers in which opportunities presented themselves at certain times, and I’ve been able to be flexible and adaptable,” Banister says. “I am feeling very good about where I am today. I always want to give back and be a voice and advocate for poor and underserved populations in the county. I feel that UW is part of the foundation that helped launch me to this successful career I have had.”

Gaurdia Banister

Gaurdia Banister
"I feel that UW is part of the foundation that helped launch me to this successful career I have had.”

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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

Advertise

Subscribe

UWyo Archives

Contact Us

UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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