VUSN celebrates a year of success and honors faculty and staff with awards

By Tatum Lyles Flick
VUSN Communications Specialist

The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing celebrated a successful year at the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Thursday, where Dean Pamela Jeffries, PhD,  FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, announced that VUSN’s new Master of Nursing program, which allows students become master’s prepared registered nurses, received Tennessee Board of Nursing approval. 

“Now it’s full-speed-ahead in recruiting and admitting our inaugural class of January 2023,” Jeffries said, followed by applause. 

The event recognized retiring Dean Emerita Linda Norman, DSN, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing Geri Reeves, PhD, MSN’93, Assistant Professor Sally Miller, PhD, and Director for Scholarship Funds Management Cheryl Giles. 

Faculty celebrating fellowships include: Professor Patricia Sengstack, DNP’10,  FAAN, FACMI—American College of Medical informatics; Professor Sharon Karp, PhD’08, MSN’99,  — American Association of Nurse Practitioners; Associate Professor Karen Hande, PhD(c), DNP’13, FAANP, ANEF— NLN Academy of Nursing Education; Associate Professor Christian Ketel, DNP’14, FNAP— National Academies of Practice; and Associate Professor Brian Widmar, PhD’12, , FAANP, FCCM, —American College of Critical Care Medicine; Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education Ruth Kleinpell, PhD FAAN, FAANP, MCCM, was recognized for being named a Master of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. 

The dean then presented the Dean’s Excellence Awards, which recognize faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching and mentoring students. 

Honorees include: Eskind Biomedical Library Director Philip Walker, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service to Faculty and Students; Associate Professor Laurie Connors, DNP,  FAANP, Dean’s Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors; Associate Professor Carrie Plummer, PhD, MSN’05, Dean’s Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Clinical Practice; Associate Professor Shelagh Mulvaney, PhD, Dean’s Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Informatics Endeavors; Assistant Professor Alvin Jeffrey, PhD’17, MS’21,, Dean’s Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Research Endeavors; Assistant Professor Julia Steed, PhD’18, MSN’10, VUSN Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion; Professor Jenny Kim, DNP, MSN’97, FNAP, FAANP, VUSN Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Social Justice; Professor Carol Ziegler, DNP’12, MSN’06,  VUSN “Tradition Meets Innovation” Award for Faculty; and Professor Betsy Kennedy, PhD, MSN’93, BSN’89,  Ingeborg Mauksch–Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award. 

The School Life Awards recognize staff accomplishments, including excellence, contributing to the good of the school and others and demonstrating a strong commitment to the mission and values of VUSN.  

Jeffries announced awards to Senior Administrative Coordinator Kim Harrison,  School Life Staff Award for Recognition in Academic Faculty Support; Director of Student Financial Services Kristie Smith,  School Life Staff Award for Recognition in Student Services; PhD Program Manager Heidi Bates, School Life Staff Award for Recognition in Research; Simulation Lab Nurse Eric Hall, MSN’18, School Life Staff Award for Recognition in Informatics; Program Assistant Ellen Smogur, School Life Staff Award for Recognition in Administration and Operations; Executive Director Nancy Wise, School Life Staff Award; Sr. Web Developer Megan Clancy, BA’03, VUSN “Tradition Meets Innovation” Award for Staff; and Director, Creative Services and Innovation Keith Wood, BA’94,  VUSN “Tradition Meets Innovation” Award for Staff.

The DAISY Awards, a national award initiated by family of Patrick Barnes, to honor kind and compassionate nurses, provides recognition and appreciation for those who make extraordinary differences in patients’ and families’ experiences in the clinical setting. VUSN students nominated faculty for the awards, which went to: Associate Professor Natasha McClure, DNP, MSN’11, DAISY Award for Recognition of Small Group Facilitator at the DNP Level; Assistant Professor Travis McCall, PhD, MSN’13, DAISY Award for Recognition of Small Group Facilitator at the MSN Level; Assistant Professor Janelle Delle, DNP’16,  DAISY Award for Recognition of Small Group Facilitator at the PreSpecialty Level.

Professor Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, FAAN, FAANP, MCCM, received the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt School of Nursing Rebecca Clark Culpepper Education and Mentorship Award. 

The event was followed by a reception.

“This has been a wonderful time of recognizing and celebrating the many people who contribute so richly to the life, mission and work of the School of Nursing,” Jeffries said.