University of New Mexico Hospital ICU nurses Dahlia Lopez and Denise DeRosa have been awarded with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Circle of Excellence Award in Caring Practice at the National Teaching Conference in Orlando. Over 7,000 critical care nurses attended the conference where they were recognized.

Lopez, who has been with UNMH for 11 years, came to the University as a traveling nurse. In 2001, she left New Mexico for Maryland where she worked at a hospital in Washington D.C. for 10 weeks, and after Sept. 11 came back to UNM.

In 2003, she was given the Distinguished Nurse award I was honored at the National Teaching Conference in Orlando Florida in front of over 7,000 other Critical Care Nurses.

"I am very proud to be a part of the UNMH Medical Intensive Care Unit where nothing less than excellence is practiced everyday," Lopez said.

DeRosa, who started at UNMH in September of 1991 after moving from Pennsylvania, has been working in the MICU since August 1997.  In addition to receiving the AACN awards, she has been recognized as the 2003 Preceptor of the Year at UNMH and received AACN national award the "Eli Lilly and Co Excellent Preceptor Award" May 2004.

"I was quite honored to be nationally recognized for my commitment toward precepting," DeRosa said.  "I love practicing and teaching critical care nursing and enjoy being a critical care nurse."

The AACN has recognized many of the nurses in the UNM MICU and the unit itself was awarded the Multidisciplinary Team Award in 2002.


Contact: Angela Heisel, 272-3322