Gloria E. Barrera

President

Illinois Association of School Nurses
Orland Park , Illinois
Class of 2021
See all honorees
Three words to describe me:
leader, advocate, innovator
The best part of my job:
serving as a bridge between the health care and education systems and other sectors as well as a link to broader community health issues through the student populations I serve
Something that would surprise others about me:
I have overcome my share of adversities. I gladly share my story if it means that it will positively impact others to passionately pursue their goals despite their barriers.

With more than 14 years of experience, Gloria E. Barrera is committed to improving child health outcomes in our most vulnerable populations through her work, advocacy, and teachings. As both a certified school nurse at a public high school in Illinois and as an adjunct professor of nursing, Gloria works tirelessly to promote health equity and elevate the public health nurse’s role.

Gloria successfully served on the national board of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and is the first Latina president of the Illinois Association of School Nurses. Gloria is a leader within ANA-Illinois and serves as an expert panel member of the newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She was also selected to participate in the National Association of School Nurse’s DEI task force and is a proud member of the inaugural cohort of the Health Equity & Anti-Racism (HEAR) Leadership Institute, which focuses on propagating best practices in advancing the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She serves as a chair-elect of the American Public Health Association-Public Health Nursing Section (APHA-PHN). She has been appointed to the Governor’s Diversity in Health Care Task Force and the Terrorism in Schools Task Force. She has gained interest in addressing environmental health issues and protecting public health from climate change. She is an active member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) and represents Hispanic nurses on the Nursing Coalition on Climate Change & Health. Gloria has been recognized for her leadership and community work by several organizations, both locally and nationally.

Gloria holds an Master’s of Science in Nursing from Olivet Nazarene University and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Xavier University.

I am committed to improving child health outcomes in our most vulnerable populations through my current practice, advocacy, and teaching. As a school nurse, I am serving as a bridge between the health care and education systems, and other sectors, as well as a link to broader community health issues through the student populations I serve. That continuity of care is why I became a public health nurse.

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