Illinois State University’s Teresa Valerio has been awarded the 2013 Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence from the American Association for Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

The award is given annually to a nurse practitioner in each state who has demonstrated excellence in clinical practice. Only one nurse practitioner is chosen from each of the 50 states, and Valerio is the recipient for Illinois.

“This is a fabulous validation of Dr. Valerio’s expertise and national prominence. We are so fortunate to have her here at Illinois State and in this community,” said Dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing Janet Krejci.

Valerio will be recognized at the AANP National Conference in June. The AANP represents the interests of approximately 155,000 nurse practitioners across the country.

An assistant professor with the Mennonite College of Nursing since 2011, Valerio is also a staff nurse practitioner with Illinois State’s Student Health Services.

Valerio’s research examines the relationships among students’ self-reported sleep quality and factors such as emotional health, stress and academic performance. “Sleep and its influence on health and disease is becoming more crucial to understand, and yet we have few practitioners with expertise in this area,” added Krejci. Her work has been published in scholarly journals, such as Sleep and the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

In 2012, Valerio was the first Nurse Practitioner to become board certified in the practice of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (CBSM) by the American Board of Sleep Medicine. She was honored as a contributor to the 2011 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing for the book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice. She was also recognized with distinguished service awards from the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing in 2009 and 2011 as well as excellence in nursing awards from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Before joining the faculty of Illinois State, Valerio worked for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and the Methodist Health Services Corporation, where she served as chief nursing officer and senior director of home care. She was also the division director of medical and surgical units and the director of surgical nursing division for Methodist Medical Center of Illinois.

Valerio received her master’s from the Mennonite College of Nursing, and a doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.