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Record number receive Nursing professional pins

Aug. 9, 2012, 10:18 AM

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing students wait to receive their professional pins at Sunday’s Pinning Ceremony at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. (photo by Susan Urmy)

The largest group of students in Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s history received their professional pins of Nursing at a ceremony held Sunday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville.

VUSN Dean Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., CNM, awarded pins to 326 students before a crowd of more than 2,000 friends and family members who filled Jackson Hall. Twelve students were presented with their post-master’s certification of completion, and two students received their Doctor of Nursing Practice pins.

Vanderbilt’s nursing program begins and ends in August. The pinning ceremony formally recognizes students when they finish their master’s program and welcomes them into the discipline of nursing. Students are also encouraged to return to campus for Vanderbilt’s official commencement in the spring.

Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., senior associate dean for Academics, explained that the professional pin is a symbol that harkens back to Florence Nightingale, and each nursing school in the country has its own uniquely designed pin. VUSN’s pin features Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of the University.

VUSN Dean Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., CNM, presents Asa Briggs with his professional pin. (photo by Susan Urmy)

During the ceremony, each of the school’s program directors presented an award for the outstanding student in each specialty area:

• Jennifer Hartley — Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program
• Lauren Kidd — Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program
• Emily Qualls — Clinical Management
• Tracy Kardoes — Family Nurse Practitioner Program
• Keeta Knaup — Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
• Amy Frye-Anderson — Nursing Informatics
• Sarah Sexton — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Program
• Gerald Morris — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program
• Carolyn Enders — Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family) Program
• Amy Murphy — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program

Other awards included the Amy Frances Brown prize for excellence in writing, given to Lauren Kidd, her second award of the day. Sarah Morrow won the VUSN alumni award.

Two faculty members were also honored by the student body. Benjamin Smallheer, Ph.D., received the Julia Hereford Award for his contributions outside the clinics and classroom. Mary Ann Jessee, MSN, was honored for the second straight year with the Sara K. Archer Award for outstanding contributions to teaching and scholarliness.

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