May 30, 2003

School of Nursing recognizes faculty, staff making efforts ‘for the good of the school’

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VICC’s Dr. Dennis Hallahan and Laura Butler, a medical physicist, talk with Orville Kronk, Carolyn Aldige, Orrin Ingram, and Peggy Wood during a tour of the Radiation Oncology Department last week. (photo by Dana Johnson)

School of Nursing recognizes faculty, staff
making efforts ‘for the good of the school’

Faculty and staff came together in the School of Nursing last week to discuss the state of each nursing specialty and to honor colleagues making efforts “for the good of the school” at the annual assembly and awards ceremony.

Each specialty’s program director gave colleagues a review of the progress, changes and challenges facing their area in nursing. Linda Norman, D.S.N., senior associate dean for Academics, said the numbers for the school look good. “Our fall numbers are up, and 2002-2003 enrollments in the MSN program exceeded our fall and spring semester budget,” she said.

It was announced that VUSN is close to inking a new educational partnership agreement with Fisk University to offer a new academic BSN degree to be awarded by Fisk. The contract is awaiting approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing, but Norman says it’s anticipated that 30 nursing students will spend time at VUSN as part of the partnership. A formal announcement is expected once the union is approved.

The nursing informatics specialty, new to the growing list of specialties offered by VUSN, had two students this year. It was also announced that an acute care focus for the pediatric nurse practitioner specialty will begin this fall.

Norman added that the school has seen enormous success from a course offered outside of VUSN. “Our nutrition course, offered by VUSN for Vanderbilt undergrads, has record enrollments. In the past we have felt lucky if we could get 20 students. In the fall of 2002 we had 120, and for spring of this year we have 175 students. We had to close off enrollment.”

Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, recognized faculty, staff, and friends of the school for their efforts.

Kathy Dwyer, Ph.D., associate professor of Nursing, was given the Dean’s Award for Faculty Achievement in Scholarly Endeavors. Dr. Roger M. DesPrez, professor of Medicine and Clinical Nursing, Emeritus, was recognized with the Ingeborg Grosser Mauksch Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring.

Conway-Welch also welcomed and praised the lobbying and other efforts of Louise Browning, executive director of the Tennessee Nurses Association. Conway-Welch presented Browning an award for Outstanding Service to Faculty and Students. “She outshines a lot of nurses and is motivated by what’s good for nurses,” Conway-Welch said.

Jackie Dawson, administrative assistant and faculty support supervisor, was awarded the School Life Staff Award for her work contributing to and promoting a positive working and learning environment for students.