Class of 2015

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 www.vuconnect.com and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbiltnurse


Ashley Bernard, MSN’15, DNP’17, is a nurse practitioner at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, serving on a team tasked with providing cardiology-focused care for acutely decompensated heart failure and cardiogenic shock patients in the cardiac care unit (2019). 

Maggie Logan Berghoff, MSN’15, founded Higher Health Solutions LLC, a virtual practice for functional medicine consulting (2015).

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.  

Megan Breyer, MSN’15, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Nurture Pediatrics in Smyrna, Tennessee (2020).

Stacey Browning, MSN’13, DNP’15, is assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro in the Department of Nursing and the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences (2018). 

Vania Brown-Small, DNP’15, is the associate director of behavioral services and psychiatric nursing at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York (2017).

Pamela Bruce, MSN’13, DNP’15, was a panelist for the VUSN DNP Know Your Value program in January 2020. She is director of quality and clinical transformation for Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network.

Alex Alford Brunhoeber, MSN’15, DNP’17, is an instructor at VUSN (2018). 

Gretchen Burchett, MSN’15, is a family nurse practitioner at the Family Health Center in Ashland City, Tennessee (2016).

Desireé Clement, PMC’15, DNP’17, received the 2020 Winter Awards: Heart of the Students Award for the masters of science in nursing programs at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia, in January 2021, where she was named family nurse practitioner specialty coordinator a year prior. She is a dual family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at Clarkston Community Health Center & Harriet Tubman Women’s Clinic, and a member of the VUSN Alumni Board.

Jessica Criser, MSN’15, is on staff at Community Health Centers of Lane County, Oregon (2015). 

Lacey Cross, MSN’15, is a member of a team whose project, “Educational Innovation to Assess PreSpecialty Students' Ability to Demonstrate Clinical Judgment, Effective Communication, and Teamwork during an Escape Room Simulation,” was accepted for funding from the VUSN Faculty Scholarship Program in March 2020. She became a PreSpecialty instructor at VUSN in 2019. She had been a family nurse practitioner with Vanderbilt Health at Metro Nashville Public Schools, a health center serving MNPS employees and their dependents.

Allison Davis, DNP’15, was named interim associate dean for the undergraduate nursing program at Union University in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She recently served on the VUSN Alumni Association Board (2019).

Elizabeth Deel, MS’12, MSN’15, was named the assistant clinical director at Austin State Hospital in Texas in May 2020. She manages the clinical departments of psychology, social work, nutrition, and education and rehabilitation.

Marja Hanks Dempsey, DNP’15, is a cardiology nurse practitioner at the Swedish Medical Group in Seattle, Washington (2017).

Kelly DeWyer, BA’10, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at Northern Virginia Hematology & Oncology Associates (2020).

Kaitlin Divinnie, MSN’15, is an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner in the Gastroenterology Clinic at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia. She got married in October 2016. 

Lydia Elliott, MSN’15, is a certified nurse-midwife/family nurse practitioner at Carolina Women's Specialists in Sumter, South Carolina (2016).

Amanda Kohls Enestvedt, MSN’16, was interviewed in October 2019 by ABC-affiliate KSFY-TV about a program she manages for children with anxiety. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Avera Medical Group in Marshall, Minnesota.

Misty Evans, DNP’15, co-authored “Comparison of Hickman versus Proline Central Venous Catheters in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant,” published by Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in March 2020. She was named to the Center for Teaching Junior Faculty Fellows program at Vanderbilt University in August 2019, and was selected by VUSN students to receive the Sara K. Archer Award for the pediatric nurse practitioner acute care specialty in 2017 and 2018. Misty had an abstract accepted for poster presentation at the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation conference in February 2016. She started a local chapter for the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses. 

Melissa Ferniz, MSN’15, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana (2016).

Erin Fish, MEd’12, MSN’15, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner in private practice in Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee (2020).

Kaitlyn Fredrick, MSN’15, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at Madrona Recovery in Tigard, Oregon (2020).

Sarah Davis Gast, PMC’13, DNP’15, received the Sara K. Archer Award from the students in the VUSN adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialty in August 2020, and presented "Evaluation, Assessment and Differential Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen," at the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association conference in October 2019. She is co-director of VUSN's doctor of nursing practice Critical Care Fellowship and an assistant professor.

Jane Geyer, MSN’15, is editor of the book, NASPAG’s Protocols for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology: A Ready-Reference Guide for Nurses , published by Springer in October 2020. She co-authored “Contraceptive and Reproductive Care in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus,” published in the December 2019 issue of Women’s Healthcare . Jane co-presented at the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health conference in October 2018. She received second place for their poster presentation at the 2016 Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health conference and co-presented about sexual health in teens at the Texas Children’s Hospital Advanced Practice Provider Conference. She is an instructor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Gordon Gillespie, DNP’15, was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics . He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2016. Gordon is an associate professor and deputy director of the occupational health nursing program at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing in Ohio and a director on the Emergency Nurses Association board.

Brenna Gillis, MSN’15, DNP’17, was the 2018 Vanderbilt University Founder’s Medalist for the School of Nursing. She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Genesis Psychiatric Services in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Justin Groce, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at Bradshaw Health in Lebanon, Tennessee. His weight-loss coaching program was a finalist for the Wilson County Post (Tennessee) Main Street Awards in June 2018. He manages an online personal training and nutrition coaching business, and his articles have been published in STACK Magazine, MidLevelU and the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s Scoop. 

Natalie Johnson Hall, MSN’15, was featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She is a neurosurgery nurse practitioner in cerebrovascular and brain tumor services at VUMC (2018). 

Lauren Hansen, MSN’12, DNP’15, opened Bloom Wellness and Aesthetics in November 2017, a boutique private practice in Nashville focusing on a comprehensive approach to women's wellness.

Rebecca Heimburger, MSN’15, spoke during the “Ask the Doctor: Woman to Woman” event in Saint Louis, Missouri, in January 2017. She is a women's health nurse practitioner at Saint Anthony's Medical Center.

Connie Hill, MSN’15, was named vice president of patient services at Saint Bernards in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in November 2015.  

Elisha Hill, DNP’15, was a panelist for the VUSN DNP Know Your Value program in January 2020. She is the owner of the Better You Spa and an associate professor of nursing at Union University, both in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Adrian Hitt, MSN’15, is a care ambassador at Better Therapeutics, a company that develops prescription digital therapeutics for treating chronic disease (2018). 

Sharon Hodges, MSN’15, joined Mercy Urology in Paducah, Kentucky, as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner in December 2017.

Katelin Hollingsworth, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at East Arkansas Family Health Center (2017).

Sarah Holmgren, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at Stanford Health Care Associated Internal Medicine in Oakland, California (2017).

Brittany Hooks, MSN’15, is a certified nurse-midwife at Carolina Women's Specialists in Sumter, South Carolina (2017).

Denise Isibel, DNP’15, is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington School of Nursing (2017).

Polly Jackson, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner within a hospitalist group at Mercy Hospital Washington in Missouri (2017).

Marshay James, PMC’15, DNP’17, is an instructor at VUSN (2018). 

Veronica Johnson, PMC’15, is owner and provider at Moonflower Psychiatry in Asheville, North Carolina (2020).

Melissa Kalensky, DNP’15, presented “Referral to Emergency Medicine,” at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners conference in June 2019. That year, she was a panelist for the VUSN Alumni Board’s DNP Know Your Value event, and co-authored “Gender Affirmation in Adult Primary Care,” published in the November/December issue of The Journal for Nurse Practitioners . Melissa was featured in a May 2017 Chicago Tribune story about her leadership in encouraging the Illinois state legislature to accept full-practice authority. She wrote "More Than 'Minions': Nurses Deserve More Respect from Doctors," which was published in Stat that November. She is a family nurse practitioner at Rush Oak Park Hospital in Chicago as well as an assistant professor at Rush University College of Nursing. She recently served on the VUSN Alumni Association Board.

Kaitlin Kinney, MSN’15, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Rockwall, Texas, at Lake Ray Hubbard Pediatrics (2017).

Morgan Kleine, MSN’15, joined Goshen Birth Center in Indiana in August 2015 as a certified nurse midwife.  

Danielle Boudreaux Knox, MSN’15, co-authored “Building a Safe and Healthy America: Eliminating Corporal Punishment via Positive Parenting,” published in the March/April 2020 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Health , and “Child Abuse Response Simulation for Advanced Practice Nursing Students,” published in the July/August issue of Clinical Nurse Specialist . She co-presented "Child Abuse and Neglect," in May 2018 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center during Aprilfest. 

Rishi Mistry, MSN’15, was named clinical site director of Community Health of Central Washington—Yakima Pediatrics in June 2019. He was appointed to the Washington chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics board of trustees as their first nurse practitioner/advanced practice provider member.

Mary Muchendu, MSN’13, DNP’15, was photographed for the June 2018 issue of Vanderbilt Magazine for an article about the university’s ’Dores of Distinction program. 

Kimberly Mullins, DNP’15, is assistant professor of clinical nursing and coordinator of the adult/gerontology nurse practitioner distance-learning program at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing in Ohio (2017).

Brittany Nicosia, MSN’15, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, North Carolina (2016).

Danica Ninkovic, PMC’15, is the first recipient of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Advanced Practice Emergency Medicine Fellowship in September 2017. She has worked at VUMC since 2010, first in surgical intensive care, and, since 2015, in the adult emergency department.

Yasmin Nuru, BA’09, MSN’15, is a family nurse practitioner at Sentara Family and Internal Medicine Physicians, in Williamsburg, Virginia (2018). 

Laura Odom, DNP’15, is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing (2017).

JoAnne Phillips, DNP’15, was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics

Leslie Price, MSN’15, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (2017).

Rachael Prusha, MSN’15, got married in September 2017. She is an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Center for Medical Weight Loss.

Paul Raymond, MSN’15, was featured in June 2019 on Nashville Public Radio for his innovative work to curb drug abuse among patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Phyllis Raynor, PMC’15, was selected for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded American Nurses Association Minority Fellowship Program in 2016. She received her PhD as a first honor graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 2016. 

Shelza Rivas, BA’12, MSN’15, DNP’17, co-authored “Sexual Violence Screening for Women across the Lifespan,” published in Advances in Family Practice Nursing in May 2020. She mentored VUSN PreSpecialty students on a medical mission trip to Guatemala in March 2019.

Alethea Robbins, MSN’15, joined PeaceHealth's obstetrics and gynecology team in Bellingham, Washington, in October 2017, as a women’s health nurse practitioner.

Clayton Savage, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at Saint Thomas Heart in Nashville (2020).

Karla Schroeder, DNP’15, is manager of advanced practice and advanced practice fellowship director at Stanford Health Care’s Center for Advanced Practice in California (2018). 

Jessica Rogers Searcy, MSN’13, DNP’15, welcomed a baby boy in March 2018. She was selected by VUSN students to receive the Sara K. Archer Award for the women’s health nurse practitioner specialty in August 2017 and 2018.

Ali Sevilla de Cocco, MSN’15, was quoted in a July 2017 Shelbyville Times-Gazette story about a model of group prenatal care presented to local women and babies and supported by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, March of Dimes, Tennessee Department of Health and UnitedHealth Group.

Natalie Studdard, BA’13, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at the Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown Joint Replacement Institute in Nashville (2020).

Sarah Taylor, MSN’15, is a family nurse practitioner at the Hope Clinic in Nashville (2017).

Shelley Thibeau, MSN’07, PhD’15, is director of the Mothers' Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist, providing donor human milk to critically ill infants (2018). 

Tamera Thoener, MSN’15, is the 2019 legislative chair-elect on the board of directors of Middle Tennessee Advanced Practice Nurses. 

Jason Tillman, MSN’15, is a family and acute care nurse practitioner at Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tennessee (2017).

Ashley Haynes Tomlinson, MSN’15, is a family nurse practitioner at Medical Home Primary Care in Lewisburg, Tennessee (2017).

Jessica Van Meter, MSN’07, DNP’15, was a panelist for the VUSN DNP Know Your Value program in January 2020. She was named coordinator of the global perspectives column for The Nurse Practitioner in June, and presented “Sustainable Emergency Nursing Education in a Global Health Setting,” in September at the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health. She was interviewed in October by VUMC Reporter about staff from Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and emergency medicine department who provided education in obstetrics and neonatology for all emergency medical services providers in the nation of Guyana. Jessica was a panelist for the VUSN Alumni Board’s DNP Know Your Value event in January 2019, and co-presented “VUMC Advanced Practice: Making a Difference around the World,” at a Vanderbilt University Medical Center advanced practice workshop that October. She received VUMC’s Inspiring Global Nurse Award and the VUSN Alumni Award for National Leadership, both in 2018. Jessica and her mother, Jade Van Meter Forlidas, BSN’73, MSN’90, were profiled in the Medical Center's VUMC Voice in November 2017. Jessica co-directs a bachelor’s in emergency nursing program for nurses at Georgetown Public Hospital Corp. in Guyana, in collaboration with the University of Guyana and VUMC. She is a Vanderbilt flight nurse and instructor at VUSN.

Sarah Vann, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at NorthCrest Health in Springfield, Tennessee (2020).

Heather Venrick, MSN’15, DNP’17, 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.

Jessica Walker, MSN’15, DNP’17, co-presented “Homeless Health Care in the Medical Setting,” at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s advanced practice grand rounds in July 2020, and co-authored “Surreptitious Opioid Misuse in the General Hospital via Rectal Administration: A Case Report,” published in Psychosomatics in July/August. She co-presented a poster, “Nursing Staff Attitudes toward Medically Hospitalized Patients who are Homeless and Have Mental Illness,” at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference in October. She was featured by Belmont University in November for receiving the VUSN Catherine Hanley Class of 1912 Rising Star Alumni Award. Jessica was featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She presented “Attitudes of Inpatient Nursing Staff toward Patients Who Are Homeless and Have Mental Illness,” in May 2018 at VUMC during Aprilfest. She received third place for a poster she presented at VUMC's Research Day in November 2016, and was on a panel at VUMC, "The Call of the Street: How One Homeless Man Continuously Declines Chronic Healthcare," that December. Jessica She is chair of the practice council for the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and a member of the quality committee at the Park Center in Nashville, as well as an assistant professor at VUSN.

Lucy Wall, MSN’15, is a nurse practitioner at Hermitage Family Practice in Tennessee (2018). 

Jodie Ward, MSN’15, earned the doctor of nursing practice from Maryville University in Saint Louis, Missouri, in 2019. She was able to implement a practice change at her clinic in Clarksville, Tennessee, based on her DNP project, “Reducing Polypharmacy in the Elderly by Implementing the Beers Criteria during Meditation Reviews: A Retrospective Chart Review.”

Carole Weddington-Hunt, PMC’15, received the Saint Louis, Missouri, March of Dimes Behavioral Health Nurse of the Year Award in November 2016.

Emilie Wilson, MSN’15, is a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner at Tennessee Pediatrics in Franklin (2020).

Emily Woods, BA’13, MSN’15, is a family nurse practitioner at Joseph Woods, MD, Plastic Surgery, working with plastic and restorative surgery patients, most of whom are women ages 18-70, and at Grady Memorial Hospital, both in Atlanta (2019).

Kari Wujcik, MSN’15, was featured on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's website in its Advanced Practice Provider Spotlight. She is a pediatric heart transplant nurse practitioner (2017).