Feature Stories

Dr. Rachel Cardosa '16

Dr. Rachel Cardosa '16

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Rachel Cardosa, DNP, is a certified nurse practitioner for Spectrum Health Hospice & Palliative Care in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is repeatedly recognized by her peers and patients as one of the most caring nurses they know.

Hired by Spectrum Health to develop, grow, and expand their palliative care segment, Dr. Cardosa has tirelessly served her profession by guiding patients and their families through the end-of-life trajectory. She has simultaneously designed financial sustainability into the program, ensuring future care is available to the community.

Dr. Cardosa utilized the knowledge and experience she gained through obtaining her doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) from Grand Valley State University in 2016 in order to accomplish the necessary development of palliative care that accompanies an aging society. She was key to the development of program policies and procedures, workflow design, EPIC chart elements, coding for reimbursement, and more.

In addition to her work at Spectrum Health, Dr. Cardosa contributes abstract presentations in order to help grow, on a national level, the new field of palliative care. She also tirelessly assists the Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON) by training DNP students each semester as a nurse practitioner preceptor. Students working under her tutelage praise her clinical skills, knowledge, and ability to mentor and guide the next generation of DNP graduates from KCON.

She is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Association, a member of the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners, and the treasurer of the West Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Association.

Before pursuing her DNP at Grand Valley, Dr. Cardosa earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ferris State University and her master’s degree in nursing from Wayne State University.

In recognition of her determined and enthusiastic efforts to better the lives of all those around her, Dr. Cardosa received the 2021 Young Alumni Award.

The Young Alumni Award is presented during Homecoming weekend to a recent graduate who is making outstanding contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and career reflect favorably upon Grand Valley. Alumni are nominated by faculty, staff, and their fellow alumni. A panel of members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors then selects the award recipient.

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Page last modified March 9, 2021