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Pinning ceremony celebrates VUSN students

Aug. 8, 2013, 9:25 AM

Graduate Student Council member Skyler Jacobs addressed the 2,000-person audience and encouraged her classmates to take pride in their academic accomplishments. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Nearly 300 Vanderbilt University School of Nursing students received their professional pins of Nursing at a ceremony held Sunday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville.

Together, VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, MSN, and VUSN Dean Emerita Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., CNM, awarded pins to 281 students before a crowd of more than 2,000 friends and family members who filled Jackson Hall.

School of Nursing Dean Linda Norman, DSN, MSN, and newly pinned master's prepared nurse LaTisha Pike share a laugh after the official pinning ceremony. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Seven students were presented with their post-master’s certification of completion, and 16 students received their Doctor of Nursing Practice pins.

“There is no better time to be engaged in the practice of nursing,” said Norman. “Nursing is being recognized in ways as never before, and you are prepared to start your careers and make tremendous contributions to the profession.”

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.

The professional pin is a symbol that harkens back to legendary nurse Florence Nightingale, and each nursing school in the country has its own uniquely designed pin to recognize achievements in nursing education. VUSN’s pin features Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of the University.

Jon Coomer receives his pin from Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., CNM, dean of VUSN, emerita. (photo by Anne Rayner)

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

• William Finley — Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program
• Sarah Neller — Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program
• Jessica Rogers — Family Nurse Practitioner Program
• Carrie Wyllys — Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
• Karen Hickey — Nursing Informatics
• Amanda Carter — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Program
• John Derrick — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program
• Amanda Hapenny — Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family) Program
• Courtney Cole — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program

Other awards included the Amy Frances Brown prize for excellence in writing, given to Jessica Burke, and the VUSN alumni award, given to Haylee Flynn and Elizabeth Munoz.

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

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