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Melody Rasmor, of the WSU College of Nursing-Vancouver

Melody Rasmor, clinical assistant professor at the WSU College of Nursing-Vancouver, will be honored by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners as a leader in the profession in Washington.

She’ll receive the AANP Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence at the organization’s national conference in June.

Rasmor has been a family nurse practitioner since 1982, a time when the profession was on the rise but still not widespread. She was a school nurse but felt like she needed more education to do her job better, she said.

“It was a pioneer kind of role then,” she said recently.

After becoming a nurse practitioner, she went to work with the Veterans Health Administration.

“It was a big change from working with children to working with older adults,” she said.

Rasmor is a military veteran herself, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2006 after serving in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

She has extensive experience in occupational health, having consulted with national companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. on reducing workplace injuries.

She began teaching at the WSU College of Nursing in 1998, and still works a few days a month at a military enrollment processing center and at an occupational health facility in addition to her faculty position.

Rasmor has also devoted many hours to community service in Clark County. She founded sports physical clinics for Vancouver-area students a decade ago, an activity that earned her an award as a “Real Hero” of the education system there. With the help of graduate and undergraduate nursing students and preceptors, the clinic provides sports physicals to hundreds of students each year. They ask for a minimal donation, though no student is turned away for inability to pay. The money raised goes to the Renee Hoeksel Nursing Leadership Scholarship at the College of Nursing.

“I’ve gotten to be a school nurse, an employee health nurse, occupational health nurse and military nurse,” Rasmor said of her career. “I’ve been so blessed.”

–Addy Hatch