August 15, 2003

VUSN pinning draws record crowd

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Colleen Conway-Welch, dean of the School of Nursing, congratulates Elizabeth Adams, family nurse practitioner specialty graduate.

VUSN pinning draws record crowd

It was standing room only for the School of Nursing’s pinning ceremony, as an estimated crowd of about 1,700 filled Langford Auditorium to see 189 graduate nursing students receive their pins and officially become advanced practice nurses.

The pinning ceremony, held Aug. 10, marks the official graduation for students in the School of Nursing, as the program begins and ends in August. However, students are encouraged to return to Vanderbilt in May to join the entire school in celebrating commencement.

Before each student was presented with a nursing pin, Betsy Weiner, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Informatics, explained its history to the crowd.

“Pinning goes back to 1880. When a nurse is ready to go out into the professional world he or she is given a pin that shows where they got their professional experience. Your pin displays a profile of Cornelius Vanderbilt,” Weiner said.

Ten students were given awards of recognition during the pinning ceremony. Victoria Harris Fleury was given the Amy Frances Brown prize for excellence in writing, which consists of a check for $100 and a certificate. Her name will appear in the University Commencement program in May. Erin Long was given an Alumni Association award for her excellence in service, leadership and volunteer work. Other awards were given to the most exceptional student in his or her specialty training at VUSN.

Specialty Award winners were: Evana Coates, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program; Tamera Pace, Adult Nurse Practitioner Program; Amy Denise France, Family Nurse Practitioner Program; Keri Lynn Revett, Health Systems Management Program; Lydia Harris, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program; Laura Marie Scudder, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program; Tanya Sorrell, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program and Theresa Marie Faltesek, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.

For the first time at VUSN, a preceptor in each specialty program was recognized at the pinning ceremony for his or her outstanding efforts to mentor and teach students in the clinical practice. Each preceptor who was chosen was given a plaque and a check for $200.

The full house filled with laughter when Linda Norman, DSN, Senior Associate Dean for Academics, welcomed the graduates to the nursing profession.

“I look forward to the great things you’re going to do as advanced practice nurses and that it starts tomorrow … and I know your parents do too, so you can earn some money,” said Norman.

Upon crossing the stage to receive their pin, students were greeted by Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, who congratulated and thanked students for their hard work.