Class of 1995

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 June 30, 2022; items received since Jan. 1 are shown in red font.


Alyce Goodman Abraham, MSN'95, received the 2020 American Association of Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence for Kentucky. She is a nurse practitioner with University of Louisville Physicians—Urogynecology.

Shelley Atkinson, MSN'95, DNP'19, was named co-chair of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Advanced Practice Professional Development Committee in February 2021. She is lead author of "Improving Efficiency within a Trauma Nurse Practitioner Team," published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in May 2020. Shelley is director of advanced practice, acute surgery, at the Vanderbilt Adult Hospital.

Suzanne McMurtry Baird, BSN'84, MSN'95, is lead author of "Goals for Collaborative Management of Obstetric Hemorrhage," published in Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinics in March 2021, co-author of "Current Key Challenges in Managing Maternal Sepsis," in the April/June issue of The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing , and author of "Maternal Sepsis: Key Challenges," published in the Symposia Medicus blog in July. She is one of two presenters on the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses podcast, "COVID-19 in the Perinatal Space," and co-authored "Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative to Implement Immediate Postpartum Long-acting Reversible Contraception," published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in April 2020. Suzanne was elected president of the AWHONN board of directors in October 2019 and received the AWHONN Excellence in Clinical Education Award in June 2017. She co-edited  Intrapartum Management Modules, 5th ed ., the runner-up in the American Journal of Nursing's Book of the Year in 2016 for the maternal-child health category. Suzanne is founder of Clinical Concepts in Obstetrics Inc.

Ellen Tosh Benneyworth , MSN'95, is a hospice/palliative nurse practitioner at Alive Hospice in Nashville (2019).

Kim Bodie-Farley, MSN'95, is a nurse practitioner at Middle Tennessee Plastic Surgery in Franklin and Murfreesboro (2020).

Julie Caldwell, BS'93, MSN'95, is a nurse practitioner at TriStar Medical Group's Frist Clinic in Nashville, specializing in internal medicine (2020).

Chris Kristufek Crabtree, MSN'95, is a family and pediatric nurse practitioner at VIP Midsouth Children's Clinic in several locations throughout Middle Tennessee (2020).

Allison Dehart, MSN'95, is a family nurse practitioner in the Vanderbilt University Student Health Center (2020).

Jeannie Booher Giese, MSN'95, DNP'11, was honored In May 2022 as one of 50 outstanding graduates of Belmont University School of Nursing in Nashville, where she is an associate professor.

Valerie Griffin, MSN'95, presented at the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties conference in April 2022.

Gina Haldeman, MSN'95, and her husband created and launched an app called Step-by-Step Pregnancy Care (2016).

Linda Howerton, MSN'95, retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in February 2018 and became a part-time heart failure nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute in Nashville.

Robert Hudson, MSN'95 , of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, passed away January 14, 2020.

Chris Hulin, MSN'95, was interviewed in April 2016 by WSMV in Nashville for a story about an alternative to opioids for surgery, and was quoted that September for a story in The Tennessean about full-practice authority in Tennessee. He was named president of the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in February 2015. 

Laura Hunter, MSN'95, is a nurse practitioner at Glacier Medical Associates in Whitefish, Montana (2016).

Mary Ann McCasland Jessee, MSN'95, is co-author of "Impact of COVID-19 on New Graduate Nurses' Transition to Practice: Loss or Gain?" published in Nurse Educator in August/September 2021, and author of "An Update on Clinical Judgment in Nursing and Implications for Education, Practice and Regulation," published in the Journal of Nursing Regulation in October. Mary Ann and her colleagues were awarded funding from the VUSN Faculty Scholarship Program for "Educational Innovation to Assess PreSpecialty Students' Ability to Demonstrate Clinical Judgment, Effective Communication and Teamwork during an Escape Room Simulation," in March 2020 and "Clinical Evaluation Improvement Project: Assessing Student Clinical Competency" in December 2019. She was recognized by Vanderbilt News in May 2020, for leading PreSpecialty faculty in innovative thinking that allowed VUSN students to continue simulation lab work in spite of COVID-19 challenges, and is lead author of "Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey," published in the September/October Nurse Educator . Mary Ann was promoted to associate professor and named assistant dean for academics, generalist nursing practice, at VUSN in August 2019, and had a paper cited that year in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Environmental Scan. Mary Ann received the Christine A. Tanner Scholarly Teaching Award from the Journal of Nursing Education in September 2018 for her article, "Pursuing Improvement in Clinical Reasoning: The Integrated Clinical Education Theory."

Heather Wareing Keimig, BS'94, MSN'95, teaches natural family planning (2021).

Tammy Shockley Keown, MSN'95, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021. She was named 2019-20 VUSN Women's Health Preceptor of the Year, the second time she has been recognized with this award.

MaryLee Pakieser, MSN'95, was interviewed in January 2017 by 9&10 News in Cadillac, Michigan, about a law to grant full-practice authority in that state. She is a nurse practitioner at the Traverse Health Clinic.

Tena Simmons, MSN'95, is a family and pediatric nurse practitioner at VIP Midsouth Children's Clinic in Hendersonville and Portland, Tennessee (2020).

Jan Coughlan Stables, MSN'95, is head of and nurse practitioner at ANP Family Care in Fairbanks, Alaska (2018).

Candy Fruin Stefansic BS'94, MSN'95, was featured among "Pioneers of Hope" in the April 2019 issue of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital Hope magazine. The interview mentions her mother who was also a nurse at Vanderbilt, Carol Cousins Fruin, BSN'66, who passed away in 2011. Candy is a nurse manager in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic and infusion at MCJCH.

Clare Sullivan, MSN'95, co-authored "Advancing Community-engaged Research through Partnership Development: Overcoming Challenges Voiced by Community-academic Partners," published in Fall 2020 by Project MUSE.

Donnie Taylor, MSN'95 , of Chickamauga, Georgia, passed away February 18, 2022.

Jody Tennyson, MSN'95, was named a fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives in May 2021 and is featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She is director of the obstetrics triage/maternal special care unit at VUMC and an instructor at VUSN.

Regina Udo, MSN'95, has a private practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico, called Greeg Family Healthcare (2016).

Shirley Griffith Viscarello, MSN'95, founded Shirley Delicious Confections, a chocolate and toffee company in Stamford, Connecticut, with her two daughters (2019).

Rachel Goldstein Zetouni, MSN'95, is an elder law attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (2022).