Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award Winner Highlight: Jennifer Sandoval

Meet Jennifer Sandoval, a Nursing Professor at DePaul University. Her compassion and unwavering commitment have made a lasting mark on the nursing community. She has been nominated for the class of 2023 Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. Designed to highlight young nurses that are making a lasting difference in the healthcare industry, this award celebrates those who shape the future of nursing.

Jennifer Sandoval: A Dedicated Nurse and Professor Impacting Lives

From her early days as an Assistant Chief Nurse at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center to her current role as a respected professor at DePaul University’s School of Nursing, Jennifer’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. But what truly sets her apart is her genuine heart for serving the underserved, a quality that embodies the essence of nursing itself.

A Heartfelt Advocate for Community 

Jennifer’s calling to serve the community was evident from the moment she stepped into her role at Jesse Brown VA in 2017. Working closely with veterans, she not only provided exceptional care but also assumed leadership positions on critical committees such as the Nursing Council, Blood Culture Task Force, and Falls/Skin Committees. Her dedication went beyond the confines of her job, as she actively engaged in volunteer work and initiatives to make a meaningful impact.

Steadfast in her commitment to community engagement, Jennifer has been an active volunteer for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), contributing her time and expertise to further the organization’s mission. Additionally, Jennifer’s role as the Covid-19 Vaccine Lead for the Chicago Department of Public Health’s 2021 Vaccination Initiatives underscores her dedication to public health and well-being.

Inspiring the Next Generation at DePaul University

In 2022, Jennifer took on a new challenge as a professor at DePaul University’s School of Nursing. Despite the demands of her clinical and educational responsibilities, she balanced both roles, infusing each with her dedication. Students and colleagues alike are quick to praise Jennifer’s warm smile, welcoming spirit, and infectious laughter. Her ability to make even strangers feel like lifelong friends is a testament to her innate kindness and genuine nature.

Jennifer’s pursuit of knowledge and growth is evident in her ongoing pursuit of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at DePaul, scheduled for completion in June 2023. Her dedication to furthering her education serves as an inspiration to her peers and students, showcasing her leadership and unyielding commitment to excellence.

Bringing Joy and Hope: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Jennifer’s impact reaches far beyond the healthcare field. As a ‘wish granter’ for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she has brought rays of hope to critically ill children, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Her acts of kindness extended to the awards and recognitions she received in 2022, which include the Chicago Nurse Expo Educator Excellence Award, DePaul University Latinx Faculty Recognition Award, NAHN Illinois Scholarship Award Recipient, and the prestigious NIH Bridges to Ph.D. in Nursing Program award.

Jennifer Sandoval: A Champion of Compassion, Legacy, and Education in Nursing

Jennifer’s remarkable journey as an oncology nurse and clinical professor is a testament to her exceptional character, dedication, and unselfish service. Her impact on the nursing community, veterans, students, and underserved populations is immeasurable, and her legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations of healthcare professionals. As we celebrate Jennifer’s achievements, let us also celebrate the values she embodies – compassion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to making the world a better place, one patient and student at a time.

Congratulations to Jennifer Sandoval and DePaul University for this prestigious honor! The Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Award for Emerging Nurse Leaders is proven to open career doors for its recipients. INF is proud to celebrate nurses like Jennifer who have made a lasting impact in the healthcare industry. 

For more information on the INF 40 Under 40 Award Ceremony, click this link.

Illinois Nurses Foundation: Support Education, Advocation, and Recognition for Nurses

The Illinois Nurses Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports nurses through various programs, empowering them, promoting excellence, and advancing the nursing profession while also recognizing and celebrating the remarkable achievements of young nurses through the INF 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award, highlighting their talent and potential for the field’s growth and evolution. Donate to INF today, and you can help empower nurses and improve healthcare!