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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan resident presented with the Distinguished Graduate Award by Western Governors University

Sep 11, 2023 12:44PM ● By Peri Kinder

South Jordan resident Dr. Andrew Nydegger was presented with the Distinguished Graduate Award by Western Governors University for his work and volunteer efforts supporting nurses across Utah and the nation. (Photo courtesy WGU)

Western Governors University has selected South Jordan resident Dr. Andrew Nydegger as one of 15 recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award. The online, nonprofit university presents the honor to alumni across the nation who have made remarkable contributions in their professional fields and to their communities. Nydegger is the only recipient from Utah among this year’s winners.

“WGU has always been about changing lives for the better through quality and accessible higher education,” Director of WGU’s Northwest Region Ismar Vallecillos said. “Dr. Nydegger embodies the essence of what it means to be a WGU graduate. His accomplishments post-graduation are a testament to the university’s mission, and we are immensely proud to have him as a part of our community.”

Nydegger is a prominent advocate for the nursing profession in Utah and across the nation. He is the current president of the Utah Nurses Association, as well as the director-at-large for the executive leadership committee of the American Nurses Association. 

Additionally, he is the Utah delegate to the Nursing Advocate Institute and a senior administrator for the Arizona College of Nursing. Nydegger is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Utah, two master’s degrees from WGU and holds a PhD of nursing practice from Samford University.

“When I transitioned out of the military, my education from WGU helped me establish a happy, meaningful career in healthcare,” Nydegger said. “I am passionate about my work and making a difference in my community. For WGU to recognize my efforts with the Distinguished Graduate Award is humbling and inspiring.”

Nydegger is a vocal advocate for the nursing profession, featured on many news and media outlets. He served as the chief editor of the Utah Nurse publication that reaches more than 40,000 nurses across the state. Over the past year, Nydegger has traveled to Washington, D.C. multiple times to talk with U.S. senators and representatives, pushing for safe staffing and workplace violence laws. 

For a list of all the 2023 WGU Distinguished Graduate Award recipients, visit the WGU Alumni website. λ