August 13, 2004

Pinning ceremony recognizes nursing graduates

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Dean Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., presents nursing student Charlotte Cooper with her professional pin on Sunday, marking the completion of the Master’s program at VUSN and her beginning as an advanced practice nurse. Photo by Daniel Dubois.

Pinning ceremony recognizes nursing graduates

On Sunday, 207 students crossed the stage to receive their nursing pin and congratulations from the Dean of the School of Nursing, marking the end of their education in the Master’s program at Vanderbilt and their beginning as advanced practice nurses.

Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor and dean of the School of Nursing welcomed a crowd of approximately 1,300 family members and loved ones to the ceremony, held at a new location this year. Due to construction around Langford Auditorium, the ceremony was moved to an off-campus location where students could invite an unlimited number of guests.

VUSN’s program begins and ends in August. The pinning ceremony is a way to formally recognize students when they finish the program, however many students also choose to return to campus in May for Vanderbilt’s official commencement ceremonies.

Before each student was presented with a nursing pin, Betsy Weiner, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Informatics, explained the meaning behind the pin.

“Pinning dates back to 1880. It signifies the integrity and tradition of badges worn by the healers and crusaders of care,” she said. Regardless of where their new careers in nursing take the graduates, their pin will represent where they earned their professional experience, displaying a profile of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

During the ceremony, students in each specialty area in the School of Nursing were recognized with awards for excellence in their area of focus. The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program recognized Lindsay Watson, Tameka Lewis-Hamlet was honored in the Adult Nurse Practitioner Program; the Family Nurse Practitioner Program Award went to Nichole Berglund-Clark; the Health Systems Management Program Award was given to Teresa Oates; Vickie Bailey was chosen for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program; Jennifer Anderson won top honors in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program; Lezlie Duckett took home the award for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program; and in the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program, Vanessa Hardy was the top student chosen for the specialty award.

Other awards included the Amy Frances Brown prize for excellence in writing, given to Elizabeth Stumpf, a graduate of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. She was given a check for $100 and a certificate, and her name will appear in the University commencement program in May. Elizabeth Perky was named Alumni Association Award winner by her fellow classmates, for her excellence in service and leadership. Perky has already made plans to serve on the Alumni Association Board at VUSN after graduation.