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St. Louis Magazine Names SLU Nurse Elaine Young Top Educator in the Region

by Bridjes O'Neil
Media Inquiries

Bridjes O'Neil
Communications Specialist

Reserved for members of the media.

ST. LOUIS — Prospective nursing students need look no further than Saint Louis University, where educators, like Elaine Young, DNP, are consistently recognized for their teaching excellence. 

For 15 years, St. Louis Magazine has recognized over 500 nurses across a wide range of practice areas and levels of expertise, from emerging leaders to those with decades of experience. With honorees across many categories, SLU has particularly dominated the Educator category. 

Elaine Young smiles for a headshot photo.

Elaine Young, DNP, assistant professor of nursing, named a top educator in the region by St. Louis Magazine at annual Excellence in Nursing Awards. Photo by Sarah Conroy. 

Young, assistant professor of nursing, was named a top educator in the region at the annual Excellence in Nursing Awards and is featured in the May issue.

According to the magazine editors, “These nurses consistently exhibit selfless care, compassion, and service. We never cease to be moved by these nurses' inspiring work, from life-changing moments of life and death to kind, thoughtful gestures that make a lasting impression on patients and their loved ones.” 

Young teaches Complex Care theory courses for seniors in the traditional BSN program. She told St. Louis Magazine that “teaching and building relationships with students are among her favorite aspects of the job” and shares what she’s learned about being an educator.

 “In developing that relationship, it’s a fine line between the friend and the teacher, so I won’t become their buddy, but I will come alongside them and make them feel good about themselves. I never criticize anybody without telling them at least two or three good things about what they do,” said Young in a St. Louis Magazine interview.

Young received the Daisy award given by the Daisy Foundation to a deserving nurse to celebrate the extraordinary compassion nurses provide their patients and families every day in 2022 among other recongnition. In addition to teaching and caring for patients, she volunteered with 21 SLU students on a medical mission trip in January 2023, giving medical and dental care to almost 100 people.

SLU had three other Excellence in Nursing finalists in 2024. Two-time Excellence in Nursing finalist Samantha Marquard, DNP, associate professor of public health and coordinator of planetary health initiatives, was nominated in the Community/Ambulatory Care category after securing her first nomination in 2020 in the Advanced Practice category. Eve Holzemer, DNP, adjunct professor of nursing in the DNP program, was named a finalist in the Women’s Health category.

Amy Kief, a fourth-year graduate nursing student at SLU, was also a finalist in the Educator category. Kief, an instructor in family and community health at Southern University at Illinois – Edwardsville, is grateful for the invaluable knowledge and skills she’s gained at SLU. The finalists were chosen by a prestigious selection committee.

“There are many deserving nurses and educators across the St. Louis area,” Kief said. “I am honored and grateful to be nominated for such a prestigious award. I am always proud to wear the letters 'RN' on my badge.”