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Nursing students shine at pin ceremony

Aug. 7, 2014, 9:11 AM

More than 300 Vanderbilt University School of Nursing students were recognized for completing their programs of study during a pinning ceremony held Sunday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville.

Kia Xiong, left, Karen Payne and Elizabeth Sullivan gather after receiving their pins celebrating the completion of their Master of Science in Nursing coursework. (photo by Susan Urmy)

VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., Valere Menefee Potter Professor, awarded professional pins of Nursing to 306 students who completed their Master of Science in Nursing, pin guards to five students who finished their Doctor of Nursing Practice courses and certificates of completion to 10 post-master’s students. More than 2,000 friends and family members filled Jackson Hall for the event.

VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., left, and MSN student Kassandra Blaine during the pinning ceremony at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“We have all fought to overcome our own obstacles and worked tirelessly to push through to this day,” said Addie Lee, chair of the MSN Graduate Student Council. “We are entering a field where we need to use that same energy to promote patient advocacy, evidence-based practice and respect within our community.”

Vanderbilt’s Master’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 harkens back to legendary nurse Florence Nightingale and her work in the Crimean War, and is a symbol of completion of a nursing program of study. Each nursing school around the world awards its own specially designed pin to recognize achievements in nursing education. VUSN’s pin features Cornelius Vanderbilt, the founder of the University.

Leslie Hopkins, DNP, left, presented Brooke Brown with the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty award. (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:

• Natalya Anastasia Vaughn — Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program

• Brooke Brown — Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

• Julie Ann Craig — Family Nurse Practitioner Program

• Serena Kay Knoop — Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program

• Carrie Marie Reale — Nursing Informatics

• Mary Butler Ching — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Program

• Jennifer Eaton Brinsfield — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program

• Sasha Tova Levine — Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family) Program

• Jessica Anne Rogers — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program

Kelly and Cassie Speck met and married while in VUSN’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Other awards included the Amy Frances Brown prize for excellence in writing, given to Sarah Jimenez, and the VUSN alumni award, given to Hannah Carroll.

Several faculty members were also honored for outstanding contributions to teaching and scholarliness: Brian Widmar, Abby Parish, Carol Zeigler, Nancy Craft, Jeff Gordon, Kristen Barry, Brittany Nelson, Rene Love and Anne Moore.

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