“I am always amazed how patients and their families give their trust willingly to a complete stranger and hope that everything will be done correctly and compassionately,” says Anna Dermenchyan, a senior clinical quality specialist at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Health. Dermenchyan, 33, decided to become a nurse because she wanted to help people in their time of need and vulnerability. While an undergraduate student in the sciences, she was inspired and encouraged by the knowledge, expertise, and compassion shown by the advanced practice nurses. She took their mentorship and guidance seriously, committing to be there for her patients physically, emotionally, and psychologically, beginning with the first encounter.
Dermenchyan became especially close with one of her mentors, Dr. Barbara “Barbie” Dossey. About a month after Dermenchyan received her nursing license, Barbie asked her to co-author “The Art of Nursing,” a chapter within the book 101 Global Leadership Lessons for Nurses: Shared Legacies from Leaders and their Mentees. Since the book was to be published by STTI, Barbie encouraged her protégé to learn more about the organization and submit her application as a nurse leader. Dermenchyan was formally inducted into STTI’s Gamma Tau-at-Large Chapter in 2008.
“I truly love that STTI is an international organization and its mission is to advance world health and celebrate nursing in scholarship, leadership, and service,” she says. “STTI provides me with local, regional, and international connections and networks that I can tap into to further my professional nursing development.” Dermenchyan has enjoyed a number of education and research conferences supported by STTI. “The most memorable events have been the biennial convention, which offered nursing’s best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas, and the Healthy Work Environments Conference, which explored strategies for identifying, developing, and maintaining a healthy work environment,” she says.
Dermenchyan has become extremely active in a number of professional organizations, with STTI capturing a large part of her time and energy. “Getting involved with my local chapter has given me numerous opportunities to enhance my leadership skills and work with teams of outstanding professionals,” she says. Dermenchyan is the current president-elect for Gamma Tau. She has served and will be serving as a delegate at the biennial convention. In addition, she is serving as the 2015 chairperson for the regional Odyssey Conference which attracts 300 nurses, leaders, and students from the Southern California region. Further, she has been serving in the Next Generational Leaders (NGL) Task Force 2014-2015 to provide recommendations of positive opportunities for NGLs in the organization to the STTI Board of Directors.
As Dermenchyan starts her PhD program at the UCLA School of Nursing this fall, she feels fortunate to have access to the STTI resources and networks to help guide her doctoral journey. “Through my active involvement with STTI, I have gained advanced knowledge and expertise in nursing practice and leadership, which has helped me at every step of my nursing career.”