Victor M. Ulloa, a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at El Paso, was awarded the Military Health System Federal Civilian Nursing Leadership Excellence Award.
Ulloa has a total of 38 years; 21 years of military service and 17 federal benefits as a Nurse.
Ulloa, a native of the lower valley of El Paso, Texas, recalls his childhood and humble beginnings.
“I joined the Army in June 1979, right out of high school. I didn’t have many options then, and joining the Army was the logical choice. I look back and consider this one of the best decisions I made in my life. The Army provided what I wanted and needed to excel in life. It taught me leadership, dedication, and commitment to my country. I’m at a point in my life where I can give back to the Army and my country. I am so grateful to live in America,” said Ulloa.
Ulloa recalls not having many mentors, just a valuable lesson he learned from one of his supervisors.
“I didn’t have many mentors growing up. My motivation to do something with my life was the need to get out of poverty. I will mention one supervisor (Cruz Moreno) who taught me a valuable lesson, and that lesson was to analyze the situation, take the initiative, don’t wait for people to tell you what to do. Take charge! I was only 16-years old. I apply this life’s lesson everywhere I go,” said Ulloa.
The Nursing Leadership Excellence Award was established to honor those nurses who have demonstrated leadership and compassion and commitment for their patients.
Ulloa’s dedication and hard work was recognized in 2011 as he was selected as the WBAMC Nurse of the Year for 2011. He also was awarded an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for his heroic actions during an active shooter event in 2015.
“I think my biggest challenge has been keeping up with all the new changes in medicine, nursing, and medications. The medical field is constantly evolving,” said Ulloa.
Ulloa was directly responsible for instructing over 862 hours of didactic material and preparing over 450 Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) for entry-level care and ensuring that all hands-on training was accomplished while adhering to the annual budget.
He also developed a COVID-19 physical assessment program for combat medics in support of mission readiness.
Ulloa explained how the pandemic affected his daily routine. “COVID-19 is a major game changer. It has affected our day to day training methodology. We have gone from a classroom setting to a virtual classroom. Our staff worked long hours to record the lectures and prepared to post them on Blackboard. All of this occurred during the arrival of the nursing students. Another challenge has been social distancing during skills-lab training. We have split the class into small groups and bring them at scheduled times for their training which has added longer hours.”
Despite these changes to a new normal, Ulloa says the mission to train continues through the hard work and dedication of the general medical education director and staff.
Ulloa received the award during the WBAMC Monthly Awards Ceremony on December 17, and people can watch virtually on the organization’s Facebook page.