School of Nursing graduates 433 in Investiture ceremony

By Tatum Lyles Flick
VUSN Communications Specialist 

two people stand together smiling

Founders Medalist Jill S. Kinch, who graduates with her Doctor of Nursing Practice, stands with Vanderbilt School of Nursing Dean Pam Jeffries.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing celebrated graduating students and their entry into the nursing profession with a pinning ceremony and reception Thursday night, followed by Investiture on Friday. The ceremonies recognized students completing their programs in August and December 2022 and May 2023.

In a break from tradition, Vanderbilt graduate schools did not participate in the overall university Commencement ceremonies, held off campus due to weather concerns. Instead, nursing graduates and their guests went directly to Branscomb Quadrangle for the School of Nursing Investiture ceremony. As family, friends, faculty and staff looked on, students were hooded by their program specialty directors and academic directors.

The Class of 2023 included 363 Master of Science in Nursing and 65 Doctor of Nursing Practice students. An additional five PhD in Nursing Science students received their degrees from Vanderbilt Graduate School in separate ceremonies.

Jill S. Kinch, DNP’23, MMHC’14, a Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate, was selected as Founder’s Medalist for the School of Nursing.

“Jill Kinch embodies the hallmark qualities of a Founder’s Medalist—top grades, innovative scholarship, exceptional practice, and service to her classmates, patients, and community,” said Dean Pamela Jeffries, PhD, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH.  “Jill clearly puts the patient at the center of all she does. She has dedicated her scholarship, chosen field, and career to the care of children. Her doctoral project will enhance the care of some of the most vulnerable patients under her watch.”

Kinch is the director of advanced practice nursing at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. During her studies, she demonstrated excellence, as a student and as a peer to her fellow DNP candidates. She exhibited a collaborative spirit and dedication to her academic pursuits, and to supporting the success of her fellow students.

In total, 363 Master of Science in Nursing and 65 Doctor of Nursing Practice students graduated.

“Vanderbilt nursing students are some of the most dedicated clinical providers and evidence-based scholars I’ve encountered,” Jeffries said. “It is inspiring to see all that they’ve done to further patient care, research and nursing, and I am encouraged to know that they are the future of health care.”

MSN students graduated in the following specialties:

  • 39 in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • 23 in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • 62 in Family Nurse Practitioner
  • 28 in Family Nurse Practitioner/Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • 11 in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • 16 in Nurse-Midwifery
  • 9 in Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner
  • 7 in Nursing and Health Care Leadership
  • 11 in Nursing Informatics
  • 18 in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Acute Care
  • 54 in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care
  • 56 in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan)
  • 29 in Women’s Health/Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner