Ranger College nurse instructor from Early nominated for Year of the Nurse award

Special to the Bulletin
Leslie Greaves

EARLY — Leslie Greaves of Early has always had a desire to help others.

She's done so even if it means going out of her way during a global pandemic to make sure her students had what they needed — whether it be access to computers, books, food or just a friendly face.

Her efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

A member of the Ranger College nursing faculty at the Brown County campus, Greaves was among a large pool of nurses nominated for the Texas Nurses Association’s Year of the Nurse award and received honorable mention for her dedication, compassion and perseverance during the 2020 International Year of the Nurse.

“Nurses have provided quality care to critically ill patients, educating communities, and navigating the changes in their work environment through solid teamwork and perseverance,” said TNA officials in announcing the award program. “Likewise, nurses had to learn new skills quickly, lead during rapid changes, advocate for patients and families, and transition into new roles under a tight timeline.”

For Greaves, who is in her second year as an instructor at the Brown County campus, being nominated was special.

“I am humbled,” said the mother of three. “I am honored to just be nominated, especially in a time when nurses have been in the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with all the sacrifices nurses have had to make. I’m also humbled by the fact that I was selected when Ranger College has so many excellent faculty members in the nursing program.

“I’m just glad to know that I can work with people like they have here. They all deserve an award.”

Greaves learned she'd been nominated for the award about a month ago.

Ranger College Dean of Nursing Dr. Sandra Lee said Greaves deserves the recognition, mostly because of her work to help others and her dedication to the community, as well as the future registered nurses making their way through the college’s associate degree in nursing program.

“I am delighted that one of our outstanding faculty members is being recognized,” Lee said. “It is well deserved, and I am so glad that our community, and the whole area, will have a snapshot of the quality of nursing we have here (at Ranger College).”

Ranger is the only community college represented on the list of Extraordinary Texas Nurses found at the Texas Nurses Association website: https://www.texasnurses.org/mpage/20for2020

“As a dean, and having been a faculty member for 25 years, I have had the privilege to teach with and lead outstanding nurses who are preparing our next generation of RNs,” Lee said in her nomination letter to the TNA. “I must say that in my experience, Greaves is absolutely one of the best. This opinion is not just mine. Students themselves recognize what a treasure they have under the tutelage of one of the profession’s finest educators."

Greaves’ determination to help others has made her someone the students often turn to — even outside the classroom.

This past fall, Greaves founded a food bank to assist students who found themselves in need, as well as assisting others with classroom access during a time in which much of the college’s instruction went virtual due to COVID-19 precautions.

“In the fall semester, she created a food pantry for our students which she continues to maintain through donations,” fellow RC instructor Vicki Calfa wrote in a letter supporting Greaves’ selection for the Year of the Nurse award.

“She’s simply amazing,” Calfa added. “I have appreciated her professionalism, her collegiality, and her friendship.”

Greaves also organized the donation of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to local healthcare agencies and created a drop off station for community mask donations at the Brown County campus.

“I saw the need, and rather than be one of those that say ‘someone should do something,’ I tried to help,” said Greaves, who also serves on the Brown County United Way Advisory Board.

Greaves went above and beyond to help students during the height of the pandemic, often working long hours to ensure nursing candidates were able to complete assignments and work.

“While our courses transitioned to online, the campus remained open in a limited capacity so that students could have access to technology, the food pantry, and other resources, if needed,” said Calfa. “When students had to quarantine this fall, she did not just make sure that they kept up with classwork, she also reached out to them regularly and made sure they had a support system, groceries, and supplies.”

The daughter of Roy and Marilyn Mints of Wingate, Texas, Greaves and her husband, Ryan, have lived in Early for the past six years. The couple are the parents to three children, including a son, Hunter, and two daughters, Aubrey and Sydney.