Graduates inspire optimism about health care’s future (News Around the School)

Rows of Vanderbilt graduates in gold and black robes sit waiting for Commencement to start. One is a master's graduate and the other is a doctor of nursing practice graduate.

The School of Nursing presented degrees to more than 400 graduates during Commencement and investiture ceremonies on May 10. The class included 348 MSN and 56 DNP graduates. An additional five PhD in Nursing Science graduates were honored in separate Vanderbilt Graduate School ceremonies.

Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, told the 2019 graduating class that she is optimistic about the future of health care because of them.

“You are the answer to society’s health care challenges,” she said. “Not just because you are needed as providers, but because each of you is a nurse leader equipped to ask the hard questions, to identify the problems and find the best solutions, to discover knowledge, and to lead the discussions that will revolutionize health care delivery.”

In addition to congratulating the graduates, the dean thanked them for their patience during the school’s recent building construction project. “Those of you who finished in August and December 2018 were in the thick of the project’s destruction and construction,” she said. “You were uncomplaining, always upbeat and completely excited about the promise the new building held for future students. I thank you for your patience and support. You are a very special group.”

Because VUSN students finish their programs at different times of the year, the 2019 class was made up of graduates who finished their nursing programs in August 2018, December 2018 and May 2019.

Founder’s Medalist for the School of Nursing was DNP graduate Brooke M. Faught. A successful entrepreneur who worked 60-plus hours a week while enrolled at VUSN, Faught directs the Women’s Institute for Sexual Health, a Brentwood, Tennessee, practice focusing on female sexual health care. Faught is also the mother of three daughters, one with special needs.

Her DNP project focused on ways that providers might help young women with Down syndrome receive relevant and appropriate sexuality education. “Moving forward, I aim to develop an evidence-based protocol for health care providers to facilitate conversations and provide appropriate sexuality education to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities,” Faught said.

MSN graduates by specialty were 50 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, 34 Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, 64 Family Nurse Practitioner, nine Family Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Emergency Focus), one Nursing Health Care Leadership, 24 Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, eight Nursing Informatics, 10 Nurse-Midwifery, six Nurse-Midwifery/ Family Nurse Practitioner, 16 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner–

Acute Care, 54 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner–Primary Care, 48 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan), 21 Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and three Women’s Health/Adult Nurse Practitioner.

Image: Left, MSN graduate Mary Ann Enriquez (Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner) and DNP graduate and VUSN faculty member Marci Zsamboky attend Commencement 2019.

Photo by Susan Urmy.