Once a farmer’s daughter now a fiercely passionate rural health advocate. This week, we are talking with Dr. SuLynn Mester, an advisory board member for the NRHA CNO certification program. SuLynn talks with us about her passion for rural healthcare and her interesting background in nursing.
“I think we have an opportunity to make a change to reset the trajectory of how rural health is shaping up…”
-Dr. SuLynn Mester
SuLynn Mester has been in nursing since 1987, specializing in critical care, cardiovascular surgical care, and trauma care, prior to moving into management and administration. She is committed to education, not only for herself but for others. She is a lifelong learner, receiving her Associate Degree in Science from Clarendon College in 1984, Associate in Nursing from Amarillo College in 1987, Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2016, Master of Science in Nursing in 2018, and Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2020, all from the University of Texas at Arlington. She sits on the board of Clarendon College School of Nursing, as well as the Area for Health Education Center (AHEC).
Succession leadership for rural healthcare is of utmost importance to her. Thus, she helped develop and is now serving as an Advisory Board Member on the NRHA Rural Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Certification Program. She is passionate about rural healthcare advocacy issues and is actively involved in efforts in Austin and Washington, DC to ensure and preserve rural healthcare access. She is heavily involved in rural health policy, serving on the Texas Nurses Association as the Governmental Advising Committee liaison, as well as serving as a Hospital and Community Health Systems Constituency Group Representative for NRHA Rural Health Congress.
She is a recipient of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH), National Rural Health Association (NRHA), and Texas Hospital Association Leadership yearlong leadership fellowship programs. She is currently an active fellow in the Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive Fellowship. In her final year of doctoral studies, she was chosen for the John and Louise Shira Fellowship Scholarship. Her rural-focused work and research have been published in Nursing Management Magazine and have an upcoming publication in the Emergency Nursing Journal.
She grew up a farm girl and currently resides in the remote rural area of Childress, Texas with her husband Randy. Her inner circle includes many four-legged family members; three of her favorites being Fred the Red Head, a Murray Gray steer and Ruby, a Texas Longhorn, and Harper, a Black Angus bottle baby.