Class of 1986

Every VUSN graduate has exciting things happening in her or his life, both professionally and personally. Class Notes – printed twice a year in the Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine and available online on this page – is an opportunity for you to not only learn what other alumni are doing but also share news about your life. We would love to hear what you've been up to! Please contact us with any updates, or call 615-322-4836. And, when posting on social media please tag us! #VUSN

Look below for news from your classmates as of December 31, 2022. Items received since July 1, 2022 are shown in red font.

Nancy Anness, MSN'86, was featured in the spring 2021 issue of Catholic Awakening in the article, "Passion for Service: A Nurse Practitioner's Story." She was honored by the Tennessee Justice Center in May 2019 as a Mother of the Year at its Mother's Day Luncheon in Nashville, and by New Beginnings during its Spirit of Wellness Luncheon in September 2018. She was quoted in a September 2017 article in the Tennessean about the Saint Thomas Medical Mission at Home program, which she founded.

Judith La Gorce Bright, BSN'86, was featured by StyleBlueprint in November 2022 in "Southern Jewelry Makers We LOVE," and by StyleBlueprint in December 2020, in a story about Nashville jewelry businesses owned by women.

Maria Johnston Derryberry, BSN'86, MSN'01, is a nurse practitioner at Maggie's Hospice and Palliative Care in Prescott, Arizona (2016).

Laura Walsh Forrest, BSN'86 , of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, passed away August 22, 2020.

Julie Foss, MSN'86, retired in February 2018 after 30 years of managing the mobile intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital. She was published in The Empowered Nurse: Peer-Reviewed Journal for Innovative VUMC Nursing Research , Volume 1, Issue 1, that May.

Barbara Klug Giambra, BSN'86, is an assistant professor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she studies communication between health care providers and parents of children with chronic conditions, and provides primary care for teens with asthma. She earned a PhD in nursing from Indiana University in Bloomington in 2014. 

Dana Rowan Griscom, BSN'86, is an agent with Pilkerton Realtors in Nashville (2020).

Leslie Jeter, BSN'86, is co-author of "Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Practice," published in the AANA Journal in August 2021.

Deborah Kenny, MSN'86, was a continuing education presenter at the Army Nurse Corps Association convention in October 2022. She is a tenured full professor of ethics and leadership at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she teaches and conducts research, and holds the college's first endowed professorship. Deborah enjoys serving on community boards, professional leadership activities and political activism.

Sharon Hicks Little, BSN'86, MSN'88, is president of the Tennessee Nurses Foundation (2022).

Karen Ramos McCarty, BSN'86, MSN'92, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Melanie Hall Morris, BSN'83, MSN'86, was interviewed by The New York Times in late 2021 about the benefits of journaling. The article was republished in March 2022 as part of the paper's Learning Network and was featured in Vanderbilt Magazine in November in "How to Keep a Journal for Self-care." She is lead author of "A Nurse-navigated, Postpartum Support Text Messaging Intervention: Satisfaction among Primiparous Women," published in The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing in October/December 2021. Melanie authored "Write it Out! CPR for the Soul," published in October 2020 in Nursing Clinics . She was promoted to assistant professor at VUSN in 2019 and presented a poster, "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Nurse-navigated Texting Support for Primiparous Women following an Unplanned Cesarean Birth," at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses conference that June. Melanie successfully defended her dissertation, "Nurse-Navigated Mobile Messaging Support and Primiparous Women's Postpartum Symptom Experience following Unplanned Cesarean Birth," at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in April 2018. In 2015, she was awarded Research Paper of the Year from American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, and was the Scholarly Writing Contest winner from the Tennessee Nurses Foundation.

Julie Moyle, BSN'86, is an outreach and engagement specialist at Practice Greenhealth, an organization that helps hospitals and health systems adopt programs to be more environmentally-friendly. She lives in Golden, Colorado (2019).

Jane Anne Filson Pilkinton, BSN'86, was recognized in June 2022 by the president of Cheekwood Estate and Gardens in Nashville for serving as chair of the COVID-canceled 2020 Swan Ball, a benefit for the Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Fine Arts Center in Nashville. 

Erin Byrne Rodgers, BSN'82, MSN'86, retired from VUSN in August 2022. She was recognized in Vanderbilt News in May 2020 for her innovative thinking that allowed VUSN students to continue simulation lab work in spite of COVID-19 challenges, and she received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors in May 2018. As an assistant professor in pediatrics, she served as course co-coordinator, clinical instructor, content coordinator and lecturer. 

Leslie West Sands, BSN'85, MSN'86, is dean, program director and professor of nursing at Jackson State Community College in Tennessee (2017).

Julia Sawyers Triplett, BSN'86, co-authored "Integrating a Pharmacy Student into the Home Healthcare Setting," published in the June 2016 issue of Home Healthcare Now .

Susan Germann Yackzan, BSN'86, was a panelist for the VUSN Alumni Board's Know Your Value, "Salary and Contract Negotiation for New NPs," in April 2022. She was chair of the National Oncology Nursing Society's annual congress in May 2021 and is recipient of the Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Award for Distinguished Career in Nursing, presented by the VUSN Alumni Association during the school's annual awards ceremony in October. She was named to the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing editorial board as advance practice associate editor in July 2019. Susan completed her PhD at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing in December 2017. She is associate vice president and a nurse scientist for the Baptist Health System in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lana Leinbach Yaney, MSN'86, has been a certified registered nurse anesthetist for over 23 years at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts (2017).

Sally Coles Yeagley, BSN'66, MSN'86, received the Alumni Award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing presented by the VUSN Alumni Association during the school's annual awards ceremony in October 2016.