Alumni and Friends News
Celebration of Distinction Honors
Paula Graling, DNP, RN, CNS, CNOR
2013 CHHS Distinguished Alumna
Paula Graling was awarded the 2013 CHHS Distinguished Alumna of the Year on behalf of the College of Health and Human Services Alumni Chapter Board.
Ms. Graling is a two-time Mason alumna, earning a BSN and a MSN. Paula also completed her doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her education and her doctoral research on the connection between culture, communication and perioperative outcomes, prepared her for her current position as the Clinical Nurse Specialist of Perioperative Services at Inova Fairfax Campus.
Pictured left to right: Mary Ann Friesen, PhD, RN, CPHQ; Paula Graling, BSN, MSN; and CHHS Dean, Thomas Prohaska, PhD
Comments from Paula:
Visiting the George Mason University campus for the recognition events of the last few weeks and being chosen as the Distinguished Alumna for CHHS gave me a chance to reflect on what a 'Mason education' means to me.
As a native Washingtonian, I wanted to attend a local university with a nursing program that could provide me with the fundamentals to secure a nursing job. The Mason nursing program was well respected and provided clinical learning opportunities at local hospitals. I recall the welcoming nursing faculty who stimulated learning across the nursing specialty rotations; enabling me to develop my professional practice.
After years in the operating room, I returned to George Mason University to pursue an MSN. I once again experienced a broad curriculum with engaged faculty who were critical to the success of an adult learner and provided an environment where inquiry was welcomed.
Now, with over thirty years as a nurse, one of the most rewarding opportunities in my daily practice is to precept Mason students. I am helping them see the exciting connection between academia and clinical practice, just like I experienced. Northern Virginia is such a vibrant community and the partnerships Mason maintains with the local healthcare systems will continue to shape the delivery of healthcare for all community members.
I am Proud to be a Patriot!
Paula celebrates at the awards dinner with the Dean, CHHS Alumni Chapter Board President, board members and CHHS staff. Pictured left to right - Mary Ann Friesen, PhD '08; Susan Hatter, BSW '05 MSW '06; Paula Graling BSN '82 MSN '96; CHHS Dean, Thomas Prohaska, PhD; Sonja McLean, MSN '12 and Gail Weirich, CHHS Associate Director of Development.
In 2006, Paula served as president of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and is currently the President of the AORN Foundation. Her commitment to perioperative nursing and her ability to effect change in the healthcare industry is reflected by her multiple presentations and publications. Her latest AORN involvement has been developing an evidence rating model for the AORN Recommended Practices.
Friends, Directors and Students joined in on Paula's celebration. Pictured left to right: Jessica Castello, Sandy Rogers, Paula Graling, Margaret Harbolick, Kathy Richards, Debbie Coan and Amjaad Al-Hussain
More coverage of the Celebration of Distinction is available through University News.