Alumni Sketch—Susie (Lipton ’72) Adams

Susie (Lipton ’72) Adams is a member of the first graduating class of Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing. She serves on Valpo’s College of Nursing National Council and continues to enjoy an active nursing career in teaching, practice and research as director of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn.

Adams is a leader in the psychiatric mental health nursing field, having received the 2008 American Psychiatric Nurse’s Association Award for Excellence in Education and the 2004 Tennessee Nurses Association Award for Excellence in Nursing.

Residence: Nashville, Tenn.

Family: Married 35 years to Andrew Adams; daughters Amanda and Cate

Education: Bachelor of S­cience in nursing, Valparaiso University, 1972; Master of Science in nursing, University of California San Francisco, 1977; Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2007

On her career: “I cannot imagine a more satisfying or challenging career than nursing. As science and technology continue to rapidly evolve and impact health care, it is still the human relationship and our ability to understand and communicate with our patients (or students) that facilitate their growth, learning, and change ... and as nurses, we are likewise changed in the process. Every day I feel excited about discover­ing new ideas, testing new technology or approaches and sharing them with patients and students.”

On her Valpo education: “I came from a small, rural area in Missouri, and was the first in my family to go to college. I chose Valpo over a large state university. It was the right choice. The faculty and students created a community that both challenged and inspired us in academic excellence and service to others. Being in the first nursing class, our instructors set rigorous course and clinical work to ensure a high ‘pass’ rate on the registered nurse board exam and secure accreditation for the College of Nursing. In retrospect, those same rigorous expectations shaped my personal and professional life— a lifelong quest for knowledge, striving to continually deliver evidence-based care, and being an active member of my community in service to others. I hope I’ve left a legacy that reflects my Valpo roots.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Susie (Lipton’72) Adams shares a laugh with attendees at the College of Nursing 40th Anniversary Gala.