New Employee Spotlight – Kara LaValley

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words. lavalley-karalynn

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Kara LaValley, and I just recently accepted the Temporary Full-Time Nursing Faculty position. Prior to this, I worked as an adjunct nursing faculty member here at Green River. I graduated from the University of Washington with my Masters in Nursing focusing on Public Health and Nursing Education, and I am currently a Nursing Ph.D. student and a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar at the University of Washington. My dissertation focuses on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on neurologic, biophysical and psychosocial development. When I am not teaching and going to school (which is almost never!), I work per diem as a Nursing House Supervisor and a floor nurse in the CCU and the ER at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am a former Green River student! I obtained my AA and completed all of my nursing pre-requisites at Green River while working part-time in the campus bookstore. For me, Green River feels like home. So naturally, when deciding where I wanted to pursue my career in nursing education, Green River was at the top of the list.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My drive to work in the mornings is relatively short, and I am not known for being a morning person, so oftentimes I actually don’t listen to anything on my drive to work in an attempt to work through my day and wake my brain up. On the drive home, however, I listen to various radio stations, podcasts or my iTunes-depending on my mood. This is my relaxation time!

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I had was working in the Women’s Department at Burlington Coat Factory in the Supermall (back when it actually was the Supermall!). I then QUICKLY transferred to the registers where I worked as a Customer Service Manager for 3 years.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I love teaching and I love nursing, this is the best of both worlds! I get to enrich the minds of future nurses and healthcare leaders.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to see the Nursing BSN program become a reality this next year! Nurses are the backbone of healthcare and with the ongoing complex changes to the healthcare system, advanced nursing education is vital to enhancing patient care. It would mean the world to me to be a part of that!

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  1. Getting into the number one doctoral nursing program in the country (GO UW!) and earning the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Award.
  2. Working full-time as a nurse while going to school full-time to obtain my BSN and MN at UW and graduating a 4.0 GPA.
  3. In High School, I was a member of the Jazz and Chamber Choirs at Auburn Sr. High. In the four years that I participated in choir, the school was awarded a Grammy Signature School Award (from the actual Grammy Foundation) each year!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Giggles-no questions asked. I have a very boisterous and contagious laugh. You always know where I am when you hear me laugh, which is quite often.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
That depends, do you want actual talent or stupid human trick-because I have both! Actual talent, I would sing. Stupid human trick, I can sound exactly like a crying baby…and yes, it is as creepy as it sounds.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?



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