Q&A: Garmon Credits UT Tyler for Her Success

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Publication Date: 05/12/2020

Dr. Cheryl Garmon, graduate of the inaugural Doctor of Practicing Nursing and Heaton Eye Associates director, was recently honored for community service and her contributions to Tyler. In the following question and answer session, learn about the alumna and advice she offers current students.

What is your most fulfilling attribute of your professional role?

As a nurse leader with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, I believe there is great value in my professional obligation to impact healthcare in a positive manner. I want to embrace evidence-based practice (EBP) change through representation of leadership, healthcare innovation, patient safety; and promotion of excellence in establishing care modalities for a diversely global population. With that said, I believe it begins with my current nursing position, local community interest and state healthcare agendas. I also love mentoring, coaching and encouraging other healthcare professionals to be their best in all facets of their lives.

What led you to UT Tyler?

As a Tyler resident, I was very fortunate that the inaugural DNP program began at such a time when I was seeking enrollment in a DNP program. I was doubly blessed when I was the only Tyler resident to be chosen for the inaugural class. 

What do you like about the School of Nursing?

My Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Nursing was matriculated at the UT Tyler campus. I was very familiar with the faculty, campus and the level of integrity that the nursing department was known for throughout the state and nation.

Why did you choose the University?

I chose UT Tyler because I had the opportunity to watch the University grow from the groundbreaking phase to the massive amount of change in academic programs, satellite campuses, expanded range of degrees and especially the doctoral degrees. Growing up here, I have watched the various academic progression in Tyler and always felt I could find a will and a way to enroll in more studies at the university level. UT Tyler can be trusted to be rigorous and accountable for preparing students.

I also like that UT Tyler is caring, personable and progressive in growth from a developing UT system campus into a fully equipped university with diverse opportunity to advance careers through education preparedness. I like that Dr. Tidwell is the type of President who sees no boundary in seeking the highest level of degrees in major schools of academia.

What family information would you like to share?

My husband and I are most proud of our sons who played full-time college football and graduated with their perspective degrees in four years. Our first son is employed in the federal criminal justice system and graduated with a master’s in biblical studies, and our second son graduated from law school and is employed as a municipal judge in Chicago.

What advice would you give to current UT Tyler nursing students?

My advice for UT Tyler nursing students is to always strive to exceed the expectations of your patient, co-worker, physician team, faculty and leadership. Nursing will never be defined as a job. It is a career of professionalism, honesty, competency and integrity. Your actions in private and public will define how others will see you and how they will trust your clinical judgement and ability to contribute to healthcare initiatives. Be that person whom others desire to follow. I also encourage students to tap into their strengths and learn how to embrace the gifts unique to them to accomplish amazing things!