Leaving A Nursing Legacy 65 over 65 - Dr. Olive Santavenere
About the Honoree
Olive Santavenere, Ph.D., RN, has dedicated herself to the nursing profession through her efforts by providing a standard of excellence in education for students. She was a faculty member at Southern Connecticut State University for over 20 years and held positions including Associate Professor in the Nursing Department, RN to BSN Coordinator and Graduate Coordinator. Both faculty and students would describe Dr. Santavenere as a caring, conscientious and committed educator.
Her teaching style encouraged student participation, problem solving, and creativity. Olive has a particular sensitivity and ability with adult learners due to her capacity to be flexible and non-judgmental while facilitating learning. She provides them with encouragement and a vision of the possibilities that can be accomplished in the profession.
Dr. Santavenere has continually expanded her abilities by challenging herself to master new areas of nursing content to enhance the curriculum and foster critical thinking abilities in students. An example of this activity is her early recognition of the importance of Transcultural Nursing in the education of nursing students. She developed the curriculum with a colleague and taught a course on this topic for a number of years. Dr. Santavenere has emphasized to students the importance of integrating theory and research into practice in order to intervene more effectively with families and clients.
As an experienced community health nurse and advocate, Olive was able to bring examples to the classroom in a way that enhance the learning experience of students who are focused on acute care and struggle to understand nursing beyond the walls of the hospital. She also developed effective clinical experiences and projects such as teaching groups in the community and completing a comprehensive community assessment, which further enhanced student understanding of community health nursing and population health.
Dr. Santavenere has participated in a variety of outreach activities in the community including the supervision of students at clinics in elderly housing projects to fostering RN students' teaching projects at community sites. Olive has been active in professional organizations, especially the Connecticut League for Nursing where she was an active member of the CLN Program Committee for many years and an online Faculty for the RN Refresher Course. She was awarded the prestigious CLN President's Award in 2008.
Congratulations Olive, we applaud all that you do for nursing in Connecticut!