Anna Montejano, DPN, RN, PHN, CEN, is always learning and striving to improve her teaching and nursing practice. She is also deeply committed to understanding and meeting her students’ needs, constantly striving to be innovative in the classroom. It’s no wonder she was recently recognized as one of four nurse educators of the year when she received the prestigious Nurse’s Touch Award from ATI Nursing Education.
Each year, four awardees are selected to represent each of four regions in the United States. Nominated by peers or managers, awardees are selected for their strengths in professional communication; wellness and self-care; nursing informatics/technology knowledge; and leadership/management.
According to ATI: “The special individuals who are named as Nurse’s Touch Award honorees not only must excel at teaching students the technical knowledge and skills required to be safe and competent, but they also must set the example for students.”
The career that led Montejano to her award has been one of deep passion and commitment. Montejano earned her BSN from California State University, Fresno, her MSN-Ed from the University of Phoenix, and her DNP from California State University, Northern Consortium (Fresno/San Jose). She spent 20 of her 35 years working in emergency nursing. She first began teaching in Sacramento and in 2018 moved to San Diego with her husband, where she began to teach at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU).
“Having worked with Dr. Montejano in both clinical and teaching roles, I can wholeheartedly endorse that she is a true professional nurse; in fact, she is a nurse’s nurse,” said Lynn Visser, MSN, RN, PHN, CEN, CPEN. Montejano and Visser co-authored Fast Facts for the Triage Nurse (two editions), Rapid Access Guide for Triage and Emergency Nurses, and Essentials for the Triage Nurse. “She always upholds the ethics and values of the profession and pushes herself to be the best nurse she can be … Dr. Montejano is a natural leader and role model in all that she does. Both as an instructor and a student advisor, she guides students in what it means to be a leader through communication and role modeling.”
Montejano and Visser won the 2019 Emergency Nurses Association Media Award and 3rd place in the 2015 American Journal of Nursing award in the critical care/emergency category for Fast Facts for the Triage Nurse. This is only a sample of the awards Montejano has earned throughout her accomplished career.
In addition to nursing practice and writing, Montejano stands out for her commitment to excelling as an educator. She prioritizes communicating well with students and enjoys incorporating technology into her teaching. She stated, “During my teaching career, when taking over a course that used limited technology, I taught myself how to incorporate their use in the classroom. I have used online apps such as Socrative and the device iClickers in the classroom to promote healthy competition, teamwork, and collaboration.” In addition, Montejano has incorporated resources, such as Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) to include priority setting and safe dosage administration to facilitate discussion among the students. She also was an “Epic Trainer” for an acute care facility where she taught nursing students and their instructors how to use medical record software during their clinical rotations. She taught and tested competency for over 200 people encompassing 10 nursing school programs prior to coming to PLNU.
“Dr. Montejano is a natural leader and role model in all that she does. Both as an instructor and a student advisor, she guides students in what it means to be a leader through communication and role modeling.”
— Lynn Visser, MSN, RN, PHN, CEN, CPEN
When starting her career at PLNU, she was given an iPad to enhance her teaching and learning in the classroom. She has incorporated the iPad into her courses and uses it for grading papers and taking notes during meetings and/or conferences. She has discovered that this technology has saved her time and paper, in addition to providing a new avenue for teaching.
The Nurse’s Touch Award also takes into consideration self-care and wellness practices, and these, too, are important to Montejano. She has appreciated the emphasis the School of Nursing dean, Barb Taylor, Ph.D., places on self-care for all of her faculty and students. Montejano works out in a gym three days a week and has transitioned to home workouts during the mandated “shelter in place” order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the week, she takes long walks, works in her garden, and helps in her church community, which provides her a sense of peace. Previously her long commute was tiring, but she viewed that time as a gift where she could partake in self-reflection, thinking about gratitude, and listening to positive audible books that are self-care based and provide personal growth. She regularly arrived to work 20 minutes early so she could have some “quiet time” in the car before she began her busy workday. She encourages her nursing students to care for themselves in this way, frequently asking them “How are you caring for yourself?”
Nurse’s Touch Award winners are given complimentary registration, airfare, and lodging for the annual ATI National Nurse Educator Summit. This year’s summit was originally scheduled to be held in Seattle but could not proceed due the pandemic. Instead, Montejano will be honored in the spring at the 2021 ATI National Nurse Educator Summit.
In addition to having to wait a bit longer than expected to attend the conference, Montejano is teaching remotely for the first time. She has been making videos for her students to keep her courses as personal as possible. She finds having a quick Zoom meeting with a student is easier for her then sending numerous emails back and forth. “I find it more challenging to communicate in a written format, so interacting through the webcam allows my personality to shine through and for me to better connect with my students.”
“PLNU really helped us with the transition to remote learning and teaching” Montejano said. “I love teaching at Point Loma and appreciate all the support given to me by my colleagues. I thank God for leading me on this path as I have truly found my calling.”
“I love teaching at Point Loma and appreciate all the support given to me by my colleagues. I thank God for leading me on this path as I have truly found my calling.”
The other recipients of this year’s Nurse’s Touch Awards are: Teri B. Ashton, RN, MSN, CNE, of Three Rivers Community College (Norwich, Conn.); Lynda Poly-Droulard, MSN, MED, RN, CNE, of Oakland University (Rochester Hills, Mich.); and Danielle Quintana, MSN, RN, CNOR, of University of Houston (Texas) College of Nursing.