Class of 2011

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

Casey Albritton, MSN’11, is an acute care nurse practitioner in the bone marrow transplant unit at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver (2016).

Kim Allen, MSN’11, is a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. She presented a poster at the International Pediatric Simulation Symposia and Workshops conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in May 2016.

Debra Arnow, MSN’96, DNP’11, was named director of VUSN’s Nursing and Health Care Leadership specialty, effective in January 2021, and elected treasurer of the board of directors for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, 2020-23. She is associate professor at VUSN and had been senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer of Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Tiffany Atkinson, MSN’11, is the executive director of Freedom’s Promise, a non-profit organization fighting human trafficking in Cambodia (2019).

Stephanie Hunt Boyd, MSN’11, DNP’15, was named among the About Stark (Ohio) Twenty Under 40 list in June 2018. She received the Northeast Ohio Organization for Nurse Executives 2015 Aspiring Nurse Leader Award.  

Carol Callaway-Lane, MSN’93, DNP’11, co-authored “P2.11-33 Organizational Readiness for Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening in a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System,” published in Journal of Thoracic Oncology in October 2019.

Elizabeth Cooper, MSN’07, DNP’11, is an associate professor at the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. She was named dean of the Aquinas College School of Nursing in Nashville in 2016. 

Cara Costner, MSN’11, is a clinical nurse in the office of Brian Biesman, MD, in Nashville (2020).

Amy Small Culbertson, MSN’98, DNP’11, presented “Treatment Resistant and Depressive Disorder,” at the American Association of Nursing Practitioners conference in June 2019. She is assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies in Washington, D.C.

Deborah Currey, DNP’11, became a medical acupuncturist and a battlefield acupuncture instructor through the U.S. Army. She moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, to work for the Veterans Health Administration as a pain management nurse practitioner at the William V. Chappell, Jr. Outpatient Clinic. She introduced medical acupuncture to the Orlando VA system, traveling throughout the region and credentialing providers in battlefield acupuncture as a means of helping veterans transition from high dose opioids (2018). 

April Fortenberry, MSN’11, completed the first year as a fellow in the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program in 2019, where she participated in intensive leadership retreats and distance-based learning activities, executive coaching and a leadership project. She is immediate past president of the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

Greta Fowinkle, MSN’94, DNP’11, is co-leading a population health course for bachelor of nursing science-level registered nurses at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Charleston, where she is director of case management/care transitions (2016).

Mark Graves, MSN’11, is a nurse practitioner at Rainy Lake Medical Center in International Falls, Minnesota, where his scope of practice is primary, emergency and inpatient care for a remote and rural critical access hospital.

Candace Harrington, DNP’11, was chosen in November 2018 by the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence to be a member of its inaugural Distinguished Educator Class. 

Jane Miller Hearnsberger, BS’10, MSN’11, was interviewed by My Southern Health in July 2019 for a story about children’s headaches triggered when they return to school after summer break.

Abigail Hillard, MSN’11, is a clinical nurse annotator in the Center for Improving the Public’s Health Through Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020).

Michelle Irwin, MSN’11, is assistant in medicine at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Georgia, specializing in pulmonary and critical care medicine (2020).

Cathy Ivory, PhD’11, was interviewed on the Healthcare’s Missing Logic podcast, Episode 29: “The Tension between Technology and Practice: Where We Started, Where We are Now and What's at Risk without Both/And Choices.” She presented at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses regional section conference in Nashville in April 2019, and was named senior director of nursing research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October. She was honored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society-Alliance for Nursing Informatics with the Nursing Informatics Leadership Award in March 2018. Cathy was named a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in October 2017.

Nneka Jon-Ubabuco, MSN’11, is a nurse practitioner at Privy Oasis, LLC, in Dallas, Texas (2016).  

Erin Keckley, MSN’11, is director of health services at Lipscomb University in Nashville (2020).

Charmaine Jackson Krupka, MSN’11, is a nurse practitioner at Saint Thomas Medical Partners’ Holy Family Health Center in Nashville (2020).

Kim Kuebler, DNP’11, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in October 2020. She received the American Journal of Nursing’s Textbook of the Year Award for 2017 for Integration of Palliative Care in the Management of Chronic Conditions: An Interdisciplinary Approach, published by the Oncology Nursing Society. That year, Kim wrote “U.S. Health Policy and Practice: The DNP and Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions,” published in the Journal of Doctoral Practice Nursing, and “Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the New Era of Quality,” published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners . She is founder and director of the Multiple Chronic Conditions Resource Center.

Mary Lambert, DNP’11, is associate professor at VUSN and adjunct faculty member at Kentucky State University in Frankfort (2017).

Susie Leming-Lee, MSN’90, DNP’11, received VUSN's Daisy Award for Small Group Facilitator at the DNP Level in June 2020. She was co-guest editor for the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics , in which she was also published. In 2018, she received the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty and the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter Quality and Risk Management Nurse of the Year Award. Susie accepted the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty and the Dean Colleen Conway-Welch Award from DNP students, both in 2016.

Natasha McClure, MSN’11, received funding from the VUSN Faculty Scholarship Program for “Exploring Measurements of Competencies and Outcomes among Accredited NP Fellowships,” in April 2020. She was featured in MyVU in July for her role as a resident life head of house at Vanderbilt University, and is lead author of “Child Abuse Response Simulation for Advanced Practice Nursing Students,” published in the July/August issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist . That month, she co-authored “Supporting Student Success: A Meaningful and Efficient Teaching Strategy to Document Practice Hours,” in Nurse Educator and is in a video, “Strategies and Activities to Promote Inclusive Patient Interactions,” in the same issue. In September, Natasha was interviewed in a video made by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation regarding its Air Quality Flag Program. She is lead author of “Evaluation of Two Academic Practice Partnerships for Chronic Disease Management in Nursing Education,” published in November in Public Health Nursing . Natasha co-wrote “Leveraging School Nurse Expertise to Meet Children’s Health and Nutrition Needs in Afterschool Programs,” published in NASN School Nurse in September 2019, and “Using Academic Community Partnerships to Improve Asthma Care in Elementary Schools with Limited School Nurse Services,” in the Journal of School Health in December. She received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency for the Tennessee Asthma Coalition project “School Air Quality and Asthma Evidence-based Interventions” that month. Natasha was featured by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching in its January 2018 Junior Teaching Spotlight and was appointed that April to serve as a faculty head at the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons on the Peabody campus. In 2017, she received the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty. She received the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter Education Nurse of the Year award in December 2016, and successfully defended her doctor of nursing practice project on asthma care in schools, at Rush University that year. 

Jocelyn Stauffer McGuire, MSN’11, is a nurse practitioner at Middle Tennessee Neurology Associates, caring for adult and adolescent patients with stroke, seizures, dementia, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, headache/migraine, neuropathy and other related issues (2017).

Kate McReynolds, MSN’11, was featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She is a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Clinic (2017). 

Susan Mogan, MSN’11 , of Nashville, passed away January 9, 2020.

Elizabeth Morse, MSN’11, DNP’14, is on faculty at Belmont University School of Nursing and a nurse practitioner at East Nashville Family Medicine (2017).

Meredith Anne Morgan, MSN’11, married Samuel Donovan Kaffenberger in October 2015.  

Tara Mudd, MSN’11, was featured in a Norton Healthcare story in 2020 about using Apple Watches to detect irregular heartbeats. She is a nurse practitioner at the Norton Heart and Vascular Institute Atrial Fibrillation Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.

Emily Williard Nardone, MSN’11, is a family nurse practitioner in Nashville (2017).

Ken Nelson III, MSN’11, DNP’13, was interviewed in January 2020 by WFRV about the early stages of coronavirus in the United States. He served as moderator for the VUSN DNP Know Your Value program that month, and was interviewed in September by Up North News about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in rural areas of Wisconsin. Ken is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board and chief nursing officer at both HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary's Hospitals in Green Bay.

Heather Whaley O’Dell, BA’09, MSN’11, MMHC’16, presented “Multispecialty Collaboration Benefits: Efforts at Expanding Donor Pools,” during Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s 2018 Octoberfest and spoke at VUMC Aprilfest in 2016. She is advanced practice manager for abdominal transplant in the Vanderbilt Transplant Center in Nashville. 

Elizabeth Ogunnaike, MSN’11, DNP’17, was recognized in The World in a January 2018 story about Southern Coos Health Center in Bandon, Oregon, where she is nurse practitioner.

Shaunna Parker, MSN’11, co-authored “Sexual Violence Screening for Women across the Lifespan,” published in Advances in Family Practice Nursing in May 2020, and “A Summer Professional Immersion in Nursing Program for Underrepresented Minority Undergraduate Students,” published in the Journal of Nursing Education in October. She was interviewed by VUMC Reporter in July 2018 for an article about VUSN hosting undergraduate students from Fisk and Vanderbilt universities and the Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine. The programs expose them to nursing as a career choice. Shaunna participated in a VUSN women's health nurse practitioner alumni panel in August 2017. She is a member of the VUSN Alumni Board and instructor at VUSN

Mary Lauren Whitehead Pfieffer, MSN’11, wrote “How to Care for Adults with Low Back Pain in the Primary Care Setting,” published in Nursing in February 2020, and is co-author of “Update on Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Infection Treatment and Management in the Adult and Adolescent Population,” published in Nursing Clinics in September. She was featured on the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching website in May 2019 for her part in developing an innovative Pediatric Simulation Day at VUSN. That year, Mary Lauren was promoted to assistant professor at VUSN, published "Evaluating and Managing Low Back Pain in Primary Care," in The Nurse Practitioner , and co-authored “Assessment and Treatment of Dizziness and Vertigo,” published in The Nurse Practitioner in October. She was featured by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching in its January 2018 Junior Teaching Spotlight. Mary Lauren was selected by VUSN students to receive the Sara K. Archer Award for the family nurse practitioner specialty that August. She welcomed babies in June 2016 and November 2018. 

Courtney Young Pitts, MSN’09, DNP’11, was interviewed in February 2020 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education about two Health Resources and Services Administration grants received by VUSN to grow the number of nurse practitioners in rural, underserved areas that lack primary care providers. She welcomed a boy in June and edited an e-book, Sexually Transmitted Infections, An Issue of Nursing Clinics, published by Elsevier Health Sciences in August. Courtney co-authored and “Pharmacologic Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Common Chronic Conditions,” in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners in March 2019, and presented “HIV and Primary Care: Clinical Updates for the Nurse Practitioner,” and a poster, “Hand Pain during and after Pregnancy,” at the American Association of Nursing Practitioners conference in June. That October, she co-authored “A Checklist for Faculty and Preceptor to Enhance the Nurse Practitioner Student Clinical Experience,” published in Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners . She co-authored “Writing a Diversity and Inclusivity Statement: Guidelines for Nursing Programs and Faculty,” published in November by Nurse Educator . Courtney welcomed a son in August 2017.

Jennifer Prager, MSN’11, is an assistant in medicine specializing in endocrinology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2020).

Angela Quinn, MSN’11, was elected to the American Health Council Nursing Board in 2018. She owns Mobile Skin Screening in Phoenix, Arizona. 

KarlaAnne Rella, MSN’11, joined the medical staff of Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor, Maine, in July 2015, as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Malinda Rivas, MSN’11, is an adult nurse practitioner at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and Surgery Center in Tennessee (2020).

Jayme Rosenberger, MSN’11, is owner and provider at IRevive Health & Wellness in Nashville (2020).

Ben Smallheer, MSN’04, PhD’11, co-sponsored a challenge gift incentive during the 2019 Vanderbilt University Giving Day, and presented “Using the Revised INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation SM,” and “Strategies for Effective In-Situ Simulation,” at the Saudi Health Simulation Conference in Riyadh, in November. He is assistant professor at Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina.

Doug Smith, MSN’11, was selected for the American Journal of Critical Care Junior Peer Reviewer program in February 2020. He is an instructor at VUSN. 

Mary Rogers Sorey, MSN’11, is an assistant in medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2016).

Tricia Stanley, DNP’11, was featured in VUSN professor Bonnie Pilon’s blog, Healthcare in the Shadows , in August 2015, for her work as director of clinical operations for Wellness for Life Medical in Crawsfordsville, Indiana. 

Emily Rhea Swett, MSN’11, is a nurse practitioner at Middle Tennessee State University student health services, in Murfreesboro (2018). 

Jannyse Starks Tapp, MSN’09, DNP’11, received the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award, presented by VUSN and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, for her work educating students, faculty and staff about the effects of poverty on health. She published “Vaginal Irritation in Prepubertal Girls: Age-Specific Considerations in Primary Care,” in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners in September 2019, and was featured in November in a WTVF-NewsChannel 5 story about VUSN’s poverty simulation, which she co-leads.

Lucy Tucker, MSN’11, completed her doctor of nursing practice at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in December 2018. Her project is “Apneic Oxygenation in the Emergency Department.” 

Jordan Vaughan, MSN’11, is an in vitro fertilization nurse practitioner at Nashville Fertility Center and treasurer of the board of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (2019).

Cindy Waller, MSN’97, PhD’11, is dean of healthcare professions at Nashville State Community College (2018). 

Briana Witherspoon, MSN’11, DNP’13, presented at the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Critical Care Bootcamp at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in August 2018. She co-presented “Advanced Practice Fellowship: Supporting Transitions to Practice,” at VUMC in May 2018 during Aprilfest.