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Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing Faculty Recognized Among Region’s Best

by Maggie Rotermund on 04/20/2020
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Two nursing professors at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing were named top in their field when St. Louis Magazine handed out its Excellence in Nursing awards on Thursday, April 16.

Kelly Lovan-Gold, MSN, was honored for her work in Women’s Health and Renee Davis, DNP, was honored in the Pediatrics, non-neonatal category. 

Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing

“These two individuals are excellent practitioners in their areas but also are dedicated to sharing their knowledge, compassion and enthusiasm for nursing with students so that it can continue for generations,” said Peggy Ellis, Ph.D, interim dean of the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing.  “We are very proud of them.”

Lovan-Gold, who practices at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, told St. Louis Magazine that she has noticed a stark difference in the hospital since COVID-19 reached the St. Louis region. 

“The last time I worked, it was kind of eerie and felt like a different place, a place I didn’t recognize,” she told the magazine. 

She said the experience has led her to appreciate her career choice anew. 

“When you are a nurse, you feel it in your soul,” she said. “We know there are risks to our health, but our desire to provide care is still there despite the risks.” 

Her research focuses on maternal and neonatal health. 

Davis received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing. Her research focuses on pediatric obesity and the influence of food-based rewards on obesity. 

She told St. Louis Magazine she is guided by cura personalis, the Latin term which means caring for the person as a whole.

“I found that I could work with the science part, the people part, the child part, with families—the whole picture—and to be able to care holistically for patients.”

Davis oversees clinical groups at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. She also teaches Pediatric Advance Life Support (PALS) courses at Belleville Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois.

SLU’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing has long been a leader in educating the next generation of health care leaders. That leadership shows in SLU’s regular honors from the March of Dimes and in the Excellence in Nursing Awards. 

St. Louis Magazine has recognized nurses in our region for their excellence and compassionate care.  Now more than ever before we are seeing that excellence displayed,” said Ellis. “We are so proud of all the nurses from Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing who were finalists for the Excellence in Nurses Award. This recognizes their hard work and dedication to our profession.”

SLU’s other 2020 finalists included:  

The nursing excellence awards were announced on Thursday, April 16, and are featured in the May 2020 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Nearly 300 nurses were nominated for St. Louis Magazine’s nursing excellence awards. A team of eight judges from outside the St. Louis area narrowed the field to 62 finalists in 19 categories.

See the full list of winners

Read more about Excellence in Nursing recipients from 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.


Founded in 1928, the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University has achieved a national reputation for its innovative and pioneering programs. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs, its faculty members are nationally recognized for their teaching, research and clinical expertise.