Young Alumni Award Winner: Victoria Faulkner

Sep. 21, 2023 By: khadijahhenderson

<span>Young Alumni Award Winner: Victoria Faulkner</span>

Victoria Faulkner, DNP, RN

Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing Class of 2014

Growing up in rural Kansas, access to medical care was extremely limited for Victoria Faulkner, DNP, RN, and her family. "We had to learn to care for ourselves through nature and the land," Victoria explains. "So it became a natural transition to medicine."

While in college, Victoria studied abroad in Ghana. She felt a deep connection and stayed for nearly two years. This experience set the stage for a career dedicated to community health.

"In Ghana, I was excited and overjoyed to learn more about medicine and how it looks in different cultures," she says.

When she returned to the United States, she joined AmeriCorps and worked in youth health in Peekskill, New York. One of her significant accomplishments there was establishing a program that brought youths and senior adults together for mutually beneficial results.

From there, she worked at a community health center in women's health and became a midwife. She was fluent in Spanish so she assisted many local patients who needed translation services. She also taught English as a second language in the rural community.

Her next experience drew her to Bronx, New York. where she taught health education to elementary students. But she felt something was missing.

"I was trying to figure out how to provide an educational support system for the community and individuals," Victoria says. "Then nursing found me."

Her sister was attending the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. That school neighbors Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing. "My sister told me about the College and I applied," Victoria says. "I am so grateful I landed at Goldfarb."

Fueled by her inquisitive nature, Victoria began her nursing education in 2013 at Barnes-Jewish College.

Early in her education, she began seeking ways to learn more and be part of the College's leaders. Victoria soon became a Goldfarb Ambassador and served as president of the Students Promoting Diversity club.

"I got involved because it's important to connect to people and to ensure our needs were being met," she says. "It's how we get our voices to be heard."

After she graduated from nursing school in 2014, Victoria worked as an RN at Kindred Hospital before coming to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Progressive Care Unit where she stayed for nearly five years. There she became an advocate for patients, especially with insurance companies. This inspired her to take another step in her nursing career.

In 2022, Victoria received her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, while also serving as adjunct faculty there in the nursing program and being a travel nurse.

"I felt I could have a greater impact in care as a DNP," Victoria says. "After I received my DNP, it gave me additional confidence that I could usher in another generation of nurses to assist them on their journey."

This desire to support future nurses led Victoria back to the College to become part of the Mentor Collective Program.

"This has been an invaluable experience," she says. "I'm not only teaching, I'm also learning from the mentees, too. We all have something to learn from each other. I love mentoring. It's like a daily meditation and I'm thankful to be supportive or learning something."

While Victoria mentors future nurses, she also works in oncology and telemetry at SSM DePaul Hospital.

"I love nursing because of the opportunities it creates," Victoria says. "It changes with your life. Bedside nursing doesn't have to be the final step. Nursing also helps develop grit and mental toughness to support people during difficult times. We all need each other and we're always stronger together as a community."


The Young Alumni Award will be given during this year's Homecoming Celebration on Sept. 29.

Nominate a Young Alumni here.