Class of 2006

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

Tamara Batson, MSN'06, is a family nurse practitioner at NorthCrest Family Healthcare in Springfield, Tennessee (2020).

Molly Butler, BS'05, MSN'06, co-presented, "Trauma in Children and Adolescents: A Roadmap for Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment," at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Pre-Conference in October 2021. She is an assistant in psychiatry and behavioral science as well as advanced practice registered nurse lead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Keith Caldwell, MSN'06, was hailed in December 2020 by VUMC Voice when he saved the life of a woman in the parking lot of his workplace, a Vanderbilt Health Clinic in Nashville.

Shawana Crawford, MSN'06, DNP'12, is a medical scientist with Gilead Sciences, studying liver disease (2017).

Dot Dunn, MSN'06, received Northern Arizona University's 2019 Research and Creative Activity Award for Most Significant Research/Scholarly Work for her middle range theory of compassion energy and her work with caregivers of persons with dementia in rural Northern Arizona. She is a widely published tenured associate professor in the NAU School of Nursing in Flagstaff.

Mary Ellen Egger, MSN'06, was a reviewer for the textbook Women's Gynecologic Health , 3rd ed. in 2016. She presented "Breast Cancer Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment," that October during Vanderbilt University Medical Center's One Hundred Oaks campus grand rounds.

Bethany Riley Evans, MSN'06, presented at the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Critical Care Bootcamp at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in August 2018. 

Nan Schrag-Dobbins Gentry, MSN'06, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Nikole Gettings, MSN'06, was a panelist for "The Evolving Role of Nursing in Transgender Care," in March 2021, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum, and received the American College of Nurse-Midwives Outstanding Preceptor Award in May 2017. Nikole is a certified nurse-midwife/nurse practitioner at West Cancer Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Martha Goodyear, MSN'06, is an in vitro fertilization nurse practitioner at Nashville Fertility Center (2020).

Julie McFarlane Hamm, MSN'06, was interviewed by Nashville's NewsChannel 5 in June 2021 regarding a new Tennessee law making it a felony to assault a nurse on the job, and was on WZTV in September for an interview about the nursing shortage. She was named president-elect of the Tennessee Nurses Association in December 2020. Julie had a poster published in Vanderbilt University Medical Center's The Empowered Nurse: Peer-Reviewed Journal for Innovative VUMC Nursing Research, Volume 1, Issue 2, in November 2018, and received the 2016 Middle Tennessee Advance Practice Nurses President's Award. Julie is manager of the VUMC adult urology clinic.

Laura Hein, MSN'99, PhD'06, is associate professor at University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Columbia (2018). 

Jamie Hollowell, MSN'06, is a critical care nurse practitioner at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina (2016). 

Paul Kadetz, MSN'06, co-edited The Handbook of Welfare in China , published in July 2017, and Creating Katrina, Rebuilding Resilience: Lessons from New Orleans on Vulnerability and Resiliency , published by Elsevier. He is the Robert Fisher Oxnam Professor of Science and Society at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Emily Wachs Kane, MSN'06, published "Allergic Rhinitis: Updates in Diagnosis and Management," in the January/February 2017 issue of San Francisco Medicine . She married in July 2016 and is a nurse practitioner at San Francisco Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group.  

Cara McCracken Kirkland, BS'05, MSN'06, is a nurse practitioner specializing in female urological health at Urology Associates, Southern Hills Medical Center in Nashville (2020).

Janna Konze Landsperger, MSN'06, was interviewed by the Nashville Scene in December 2020 in an article honoring health care workers as Nashvillians of the Year. She was co-organizer of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Critical Care Bootcamp at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in August 2018, and co-chair of the planning committee for the ACNP/PA Critical Care Boot Camp in both 2017 and 2016. Janna is a nurse practitioner in the medical intensive care center at VUMC.

Brandee Madden, MSN'06, was promoted to assistant professor at VUSN in June 2021, was named a member of the Dismas House board of directors in Nashville, and was certified as a tobacco treatment specialist. She completed her doctor of nursing practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in December 2018. Her project, "Impact of Brief and Intensive Interventions for Tobacco Use in Adult Women at a Residential Substance Use Treatment Facility," was completed at The Next Door in Nashville. 

Shawna Johnston Marion, MSN'06, was named deputy director at Micmac Family Health Clinic, an Indian Health Service location in Presque Isle, Maine, in August 2020. She had been assistant medical director for the Alamo Navajo Health Center in New Mexico.

Allyl McClure, MSN'06, is a nurse practitioner at Scripps Health in San Diego (2020).

Beth Coleman Norwood, MSN'06, founded a continuing education company in Nashville called Suture and More, offering workshops such as wound closure, joint reduction and foreign body removal (2019). 

Robbie Panepinto, MSN'06, is lead author of "A Review of Best Practices Related to Intravenous Line Management for Nurses," published in Nursing Clinics of North America in September 2021.

Melinda Leigh Phillips-Freeman, MSN'06, is a nurse practitioner at Optimum Internal Medicine and Pediatrics office in Dickson, Tennessee (2016). 

Ashlie Pullen, MSN'06, earned her doctor of nursing practice in leadership and management from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion in August 2021, and created and piloted an online residency program in both Georgia and Wisconsin for public health nurses. She is deputy chief nurse of emergency preparedness for the State of Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta, where she provides leadership, consultation and technical assistance regarding the practice of public health nursing in disasters.  

Wendy Elrod Reynolds, MSN'06, is a family nurse practitioner at Nashville Gastrointestinal Associates (2020).

Bethany Domzal Sanders, MSN'06, was named the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health reviewer of the year for 2020. She received the Tennessee Nurses Foundation 2018 Scholarly Writing Award in connection with Nurses Week for her paper, "The Impact of Student-Run Clinics on the Development of Nurse Leaders." She presented "Preparing for Labor and Birth," at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in July 2017. Bethany participates regularly as a blogger for Nashville Public Television's  Call the Midwife .

Meg Shifrin, MSN'06, is lead author of "Incorporating the Lived Experience into Graduate Nursing Education," published in the Journal of Nursing Education in April 2021, and co-author of "Improving Medical and Nurse Practitioner Student Confidence and Clinical Skill in Advance Care Plan Development: A Multidisciplinary Mentorship Model," published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine in May. She was promoted to associate professor at VUSN in June and received the Sara K. Archer Excellence in Teaching Award from students in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty in August. She was inducted as a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in September and presented, "There's No Time to Waste: How to Approach the Diagnosis and Prioritized Management of Anaphylactic Shock in Adults," at the AANP conference. She is co-author of "Necrotizing Fasciitis in the Adult Patient: Implications for Nurse Practitioners," published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners in May 2020, and "Critical Care Considerations in Adult Patients with Influenza-induced ARDS," published in Critical Care Nurse in October. Meg received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors in June 2019, and presented at the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Critical Care Bootcamp at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in August 2018. Her poster, "Drug-associated Electrolyte Derangements in the Adult: Critical Practice Essentials for Nurse Practitioners," received the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners spring 2017 poster award. That year, Meg received the Sara K. Archer Award from AGACNP specialty students and welcomed a daughter.

Priscilla Simms-Roberson, MSN'06, received the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in May 2020, and was named to the board of the Tennessee Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nursing in December. She presented "Pursuit of Knowledge: A Study of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Knowledge of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Non-occupational Post-exposure Prophylaxis Evidence-based Practice Guidelines," in September 2019 at the International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice. Priscilla was named Outstanding Nursing Faculty Member for the 2017-18 school year at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she is assistant professor and Kay Chitty Chair in the Master's of Science in Nursing program, and nursing coordinator at Partnership Rape Crisis Center. She developed a new undergraduate elective course titled "Introduction to Forensic Nursing," and taught it for the first time in fall 2018. Priscilla received her doctor of nursing practice in 2016 from UTC and founded the state's first domestic violence examiner program.

MaryLou Phillips Smith, MSN'06, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021, and held a workshop, "Abnormal Uterine Bleeding," and taught how to perform endometrial biopsies at the American College of Nurse-Midwives conference in May 2017. She is an assistant division director at VUMC.

Melan Smith-Francis, MSN'06, returned to VUSN in May 2021 as an assistant professor of nurse-midwifery. She had been an adjunct professor of nursing at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Stephanie Spence, MSN'06, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Julie Stembridge, MSN'06, was interviewed by Online FNP Programs about her career as a certified nurse-midwife. She is on staff at WakeMed Physician Practices in Raleigh, North Carolina (2018). 

Otobong Udoudoh, MSN'06, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Pediatrix Medical Group's Neonatology Associates of Atlanta. He had been a nurse practitioner at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, where he was with a group of private practice critical care physicians under the umbrella of Pediatrix Medical Group.

Amber Worrell Vermeesch, MSN'06, was named a fellow in both the National Academies of Practice in Nursing and the American College of Sports Medicine in 2020, and an associate professor at the University of Portland School of Nursing in Oregon. She was selected to represent nursing faculty at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing National Faculty Intensive Program in March 2016. 

Stacy Fuqua Ward, MSN'06, is a family nurse practitioner at NorthCrest Orthopaedics in Springfield, Tennessee.

Kristin Werking, MSN'06, is a nurse practitioner in the department of thoracic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Jennifer Ezell Wilbeck, MSN'99, PMC'06, was interviewed in the summer of 2021 for the NP Schools blog on "Day in the Life of an Emergency NP: Two Experts Share Their Perspectives." She is co-author of "Revisioning the ENP among Emergency Workforce Changes: Specialty or Population?" published in Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal , in July/September, and a contributing author for the first edition of Emergency Nurse Practitioner Core Curriculum, published by Springer in August. She presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners conference in September and was interviewed for the NP Pulse: The Voice of Nurse Practitioners podcast in November. Jennifer was featured by Prevention in March 2020 in an interview about fevers and what to look for regarding COVID-19. She moderated a panel, "Recommendations for Improving National Nurse Preparedness for Pandemic Response: Early Lessons from COVID-19," hosted by the American College of Medical Toxology in June, and received a Certified Nurse Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She co-authored "Ensuring Relevance and Currency for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Profession: A Call for Collaboration," published in the October/December issue of the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal . In April 2019, Jennifer co-presented "Trauma-informed Care for the Sexual Assault Survivor," at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses regional section conference, and co-authored "Dental Pain Relief in the Age of ALTO," published in the July/September issue of Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal . Also that year, she co-published "Supporting Program Rigor in Newly Developed Specialty Academic Programs: Use of a Self-evaluation Reporting Tool for Emergency Nurse Practitioner Academic Programs," for Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in August, and a poster she co-presented received first place at the International Association of Forensic Nurses conference that September. Jennifer was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in October. Jennifer became director of VUSN's emergency nurse practitioner program in June 2018. She received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors and the Advance Practice Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter, both in 2017. She was named fellow by the American Association for Nurse Practitioners in 2016.  

Kirsten Wister, MSN'06, is a nurse practitioner at Sonora Family Care, a nurse-managed primary health care clinic in Sierra Vista, Arizona (2017).

Kathyrn Wyatt, MSN'06, is a family nurse practitioner at Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology Specialists in Huntsville, Alabama (2020).

Cara Calloway Young, MSN'06, PhD'10, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in October 2021, and co-authored "A Systematic Scoping Review of Psychological Capital Related to Mental Health in Youth," published in December in The Journal of School Nursing . She was inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Nursing Practitioners in June 2019, and received the Rising Star award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties in April 2018. Cara is an assistant professor at University of Texas Austin School of Nursing and on the editorial review board for The Journal of Nursing Education and Practice .

Carol Ziegler, MSN'06, DNP'12, was a panelist for a discussion around the documentary, Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air, hosted by the Tennessee Asthma Coalition in honor of Air Quality Awareness Week in May 2021. She received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Social Justice that same month and the VUSN Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Social Justice in June. She was welcomed by the Vanderbilt Hustler as a head of house in Vanderbilt's undergraduate residential program and, in September, Carol was invited to chair the new Planetary and Global Health Committee of the American Nurse Association's Innovation Advisory Committee, expected to launch in 2022. She was a speaker for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Discover podcast, "Climate Is Us: Why Climate Change Is Healthcare's Lane," in October, and, in December, gave the keynote for "Environmental Health and Justice: The Challenges Our Population is Facing," presented by the Shade Tree Clinic in Nashville. Carol was promoted to professor at VUSN in January 2020 and appointed to the Vanderbilt University Sustainability Advisory Council that February. She was selected to create and teach one of Vanderbilt's new interdisciplinary courses that spring, "Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice," which was open to students from across campus. She received a Southeastern Conference faculty travel grant to collaborate with the University of Tennessee on climate change and inter-professional education, and was quoted in NP Schools for "Tennessee NPs: The Fight for Full Practice Authority." In April, Carol was quoted in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle about the effects of air quality on health and, in May, she presented at the Nursing Summit on Environmental Health hosted by the Alliance of Nurses of Healthy Environments. She received the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty in June. In 2018, Carol was featured by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching in its Junior Teaching Spotlight, and was on the faculty of "Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Adaptation Strategies," an interprofessional series taught by five instructors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt. Carol opened Thrive Holistic Care and is the Vanderbilt representative for the Lancet Commission on Climate and Health.