Nursing students welcomed into profession at fall pinning

Story by Tatum Lyles Flick, Communications Specialist
Photos by Caroline Taylor, Allie Noote and Tatum Lyles Flick

Nursing students were all smiles Friday afternoon as they gathered with friends, family, faculty and staff at the fall pinning ceremony that marked the completion of their Vanderbilt University School of Nursing programs. 

“For some of you, pinning recognizes your entry into our profession,” said Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, dean of Vanderbilt School of Nursing. “For others, it recognizes your completion of a strenuous, challenging and fulfilling program of an advanced practice nursing education. For all, it provides an opportunity for your faculty, family, friends and colleagues to recognize your hard work, knowledge and bright future.” 

The event recognized 42 students in the master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, and Post-Master’s Certificate programs.  

Students McKayla Ashton Phillips and Victoria Biondo were honored with Outstanding Student Awards for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse-Midwifery specialties respectively. 

Students took the opportunity to thank the teachers and mentors who helped them through the rigorous programs and prepared them for futures in health care. 

“When we haven’t believed in ourselves, our faculty have taken up the task, expressing an unceasing faith in our ability to do this work,” said speaker and Nurse-Midwifery student Victoria Biondo. “Their confidence in us is a gift—a mirror in which we glimpse ourselves as they see us.” 

Certified Nurse-Midwife and Midwifery Director at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Jodie Simms, was honored as the Nurse-Midwifery Preceptor of the Year. Assistant Professor Travis McCall, PhD, MSN’13, received the Sara K. Archer Faculty Award for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner specialty, and Instructor Tonia Moore-Davis, MSN, FACNM, for the Nurse-Midwifery specialty. 

The event concluded as students were welcomed into the VUSN Alumni Association and honored with a reception.