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).

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. 

Nikole Gettings, MSN’06, received the American College of Nurse-Midwives Outstanding Preceptor Award in May 2017. She 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 named president-elect of the Tennessee Nurses Association in December 2020. She 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 adult urology clinic at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Laura Hein, MSN’99, PhD’06, is associate professor at University of South Carolina College of Nursingin 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 Robert Kane in July 2016, and is a nurse practitioner at San Francisco Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group in California.  

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 in Nashville.

Brandee Madden, MSN’06, 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, California (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). 

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

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

Bethany Domzal Sanders, MSN’06, participates regularly as a blogger for Nashville Public Television’s  Call the Midwife . 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." Bethany presented "Preparing for Labor and Birth," at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in July 2017.

Meg Shifrin, MSN’06, 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. She received the VUSN Dean’s Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors in June 2019. Meg 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, she received the VUSN Sara K. Archer Award for dult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialty, 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 MSN 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. She 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, 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 Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Melan Smith-Francis, MSN’06, is an adjunct professor of nursing at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee (2020).

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, Georgia. She had been a nurse practitioner at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, where he is 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.

Jennifer Ezell Wilbeck, MSN’99, PMC’06, 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. Jennifer 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, she 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, Jennifer 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. She 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 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. She is an assistant professor at University of Texas Austin School of Nursing. 

Carol Ziegler, MSN’06, DNP’12, was promoted to professor at VUSN in January 2020 and appointed to the Vanderbilt University Sustainability Advisory Council in 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. Carol 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, she 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. Carol 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.