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. 

The most recent listings appear first. More info may be available at and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at

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’10, is lead author on “Improving Efficiency within a Trauma Nurse Practitioner Team,” published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in May 2020. 

Suzanne McMurtry Baird, BSN’84, MSN’95, is one of two presenters on the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses podcast, “COVID-19 in the Perinatal Space.” She 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. She 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). 

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, 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. She is lead author of “Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey,” published in the September/October Nurse Educator . Mary Ann and 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 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. She 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.” 

Tammy Shockley Keown, MSN’95, was named 2019-20 VUSN Women’s Health Preceptor of the Year. (This is 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 at Vanderbilt Hope magazine. She is a nurse manager in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic and infusion at the hospital. The interview mentions her mother who was also a nurse at Vanderbilt, Carol Cousins Fruin, BSN’66, who passed away in 2011.  

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. 

Jody Tennyson, MSN’95, was 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 in Nashville (2018).  

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).