Claudia Merkley, acute nurse practitioner at Ohio Valley Heart Care in Evansville, is the 2012 recipient of the USI Distinguished Nursing Alumna Award.
Merkley completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at USI and has instructed in the Undergraduate Nursing Program and taught the Graduate Faculty Instructing the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner course for the University. She also serves on the USI Health Professions Advisory Committee.
Merkley began work in the healthcare field as an emergency medical technician in Dubois County before joining Deaconess Hospital as a staff nurse 1996. She became a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner in 2000 and has been working at Ohio Valley Heart Care in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery since that time. In her current role, she is first assistant to cardiothoracic surgeons in the operating room and conducts pre- and post-operative visits for surgical patients.
As president-elect for the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses of Indiana Region 8, she has been involved in the promotion of the nurse practitioner profession through local and state committees since 2000. In addition, she volunteers at free community peripheral arterial disease (PAD) screenings in an effort to better educate the community and diagnosis the disease in the early stages. She was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the PAD Coalition for her work with the PAD Care Centers Program.
"I am sincerely honored to receive the 2012 USI Distinguished Nursing Alumna Award,” said Merkley. “It validates my commitment to the cardiothoracic and vascular advanced nursing profession."
“I am pleased that Claudia Merkley has received the 2012 Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award,” said Dr. Ann White, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “She has supported the nursing programs for many years serving as teaching faculty and as a clinical preceptor. Her clinical expertise and accomplishments within nursing exemplifies the caliber of the graduates of the USI nursing programs.”
The Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who has made outstanding achievements in a career or public service. The award was presented on October 16 at the USI Nursing Alumni Society’s annual dinner.