Select Page

katrina starKatrina Helmer, who works in the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the June STAR Award.

She was nominated by Brenda Garza, College of Nursing, and Sue Robl, Communication Department.

Portions of Helmer’s nomination follows:

“Katrina Helmer is a consummate professional. Without a doubt, she has superb technical expertise, combined with a truly admirable work ethic. We work closely with Katrina, and find her to be a dedicated employee whose knowledge and helpfulness have made our work life easier.

Over the last few years the College of Nursing (CON) has gone through some extreme transformations with workload reorganization and staffing changes. During each phase Katrina took on more than her share of additional work to make sure that the transitions for students were not full of anxiety.

“Currently, she holds the position of CON Graduate Program Assistant, and is the first person encountered when communicating with the Post Licensure Program Director or the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Assistant Director. Katrina exhibits a calm welcoming demeanor as she interacts with both internal and external stakeholders of the CON. She has projects delegated to her that involve a variety of university offices and external agencies, and she frequently communicates with health care leaders in the primary clinical agencies that provide clinical learning opportunities for students. Consistently meeting deadlines and following policies contribute to the positive reputation of the CON and University. Katrina is known for her work ethic, quality outcomes and team approach to getting collaborative work done.

Recently, Katrina was placed in charge of pulling together the data for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) mid-year report for the DNP program. The CCNE is the accrediting body for the CON. Katrina’s expertise was put to the test, but she was able to fill out portions of the report herself and organize the additional data while performing her other duties.

In addition, Katrina is responsible to coordinate with superiors on all the clinical placements in the Graduate Program. This is the ONLY program in the CON that does not have a designated clinical placement coordinator to do this work. There are 133 current students in the Graduate Program, including the DNP, with various emphases. If there were only 1 student in each emphasis, by the time they were done, 3,380 hours of clinical (not including the capstone hours) would be done. Katrina is doing the clinical contact paperwork for 133 students among 5 different emphases. Plus there is a new certificate option starting fall 2015 and a whole new program in the near future.

“Once the clinical sites are found, Katrina formats the appropriate information into the correct agency specific documents and sends the data to the clinical site contact person. She must also verify that each student has their current medical records on file, and manually enrolls each student into the clinical course. She also sends out welcome letters and a preceptor packet to the preceptors. This work is extremely detail oriented and relies heavily on Katrina’s ability to remain calm in stressful situations, multi-task, and do a lot of independent critical thinking.

“Katrina Helmer is an outstanding employee and definitely deserves the UW Oshkosh STAR Award.”

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.