College of Nursing Holds Hooding and Pinning Ceremony

By Chris Carmody

The academic procession took place at First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock after two years of being held as a virtual event.

Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, said the College of Nursing’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs are among the best in the region and the nation.

Teresa Whited, DNP, APRN, and Laura Mayfield, DNP, APRN, place the hood on Angel Livingston.

Teresa Whited, DNP, APRN, and Laura Mayfield, DNP, APRN, place the hood on Angel Livingston.Image by John Sykes Jr.

Noting that Florence Nightingale saw nursing as one of the fine arts, Patterson told the graduates that “as nurses, your greatest works of art may not hang in a museum or gallery or be played in a symphony hall, but they will live on and be magnified exponentially.” He said their art will live on in the patients they treat, the families they comfort and the research facilities they create.

The first part of the ceremony celebrated students graduating with their Bachelor of Nursing Science (BSN) degrees. Each of those students received a pin, an emblem that signifies their transition from students to colleagues. The graduates also recited the Nightingale Pledge.

Lakedra Maxie, a BSN graduate, delivered an address in which she recalled the struggles her classmates had to endure, through long nights of studying and through two years of the pandemic. “If I had to define this class by one word, it would be perseverance,” she said.

In the second part of the ceremony, the College of Nursing honored students who completed their Master of Nursing Science (MNSc.) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Those graduates received their hoods, continuing a custom that originated in Europe about 800 years ago.

Colton Stice, an MNSc. graduate, gave an address on behalf of his classmates. “Our graduation is a collaborative effort by each and every person sitting here today,” he said, acknowledging the help of faculty members, administrators, families and friends.

Patricia Cowan, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing, urged all the students to be committed to lifelong learning. She also advised them to be mindful of their own well-being. “If you don’t take care of yourself both mentally and physically, you won’t be able to care for others,” she said.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of awards for graduates and faculty members. Those were:

Undergraduate Awards

Faculty Gold Key, presented to the BSN graduate who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership in professional and community activities, excellence in nursing practice and personal and professional growth: Khuong H. Nguyen

Virginia R. Jarratt Award, presented to the BSN graduate who demonstrates scholastic achievement, excellence in the art and science of nursing, awareness of the heritage of nursing and current forces affecting the delivery of health care, and performance that reveals appreciation of nursing as a caring profession: Emilienne Ngampa

Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution, presented to the BSN graduate who demonstrates exceptional leadership efforts that enhance student/faculty relationships, and who encourages other students to participate in their professional organization: Lakedra L. Maxie

Ina Sweetnam Award, presented to the graduate who has achieved scholastic excellence and who demonstrates excellence in the care of maternity patients: Kristine Lyn North

Gloria Rauch Award, which honors the pursuit of excellence in nursing care of children and is presented to the BSN graduate who demonstrates scholastic achievement and excellence in practice with infants, children and their families: Colton Douglas Vess

Outstanding RN to BSN Award, presented to an RN graduate in the outreach program who demonstrates excellence in nursing practice, professional growth and community leadership: Sabrina I. Enoch

Daisy in Training Award, presented to the BSN senior who went above and beyond to deliver compassionate care: Colton Douglas Vess

Nightingale Award, presented to the leader who demonstrates a desire to contribute to the nursing profession and has participated in civic and community activities at the state and national level: Krista Kaelyn Converse

Nurses’ Nurse Award, for the nurse(s) that you would most like to care for you if you were ill, and whose loyalty lies to the patient first: Micah Annette Moody

Nursing Excellence Award, presented to the graduate who demonstrates outstanding class and clinical preparation, confidence and competence in nursing, who communicates well, is creative in delivery of care, looks further than the textbook for answers and assists other students when needed: Charlsi Petrus Konecny

Most Supportive Student Award, presented to the graduate who supports other students through triumphs and trials, facilitates group morale, shares time and talents, and gives sincere positive encouragement: Evelyn Gabrielle Tipton

Graduate Awards

Outstanding Future Nurse Leader Award, presented in recognition of exceptional potential for outstanding future contributions to the profession as a nurse leader: Leigh Ann Johnson

Kathryn P. “Bucky” Thomas Award, given to the graduate student who demonstrates kindness, compassion, and gives positive encouragement to others, and shows respect for and loyalty to the College of Nursing: Alexis Beliew

Veronica McNeirney Award, presented in recognition of clinical excellence in the care of seriously ill adults: Erika Meza

Willa Belle Adams Award, which recognizes a master’s graduate who exemplifies clinical nursing skills: Jennifer Brooke Greeno-Fletcher

Ph.D. Award

Dr. Eric Ashworth Hodges Award for Best Dissertation: Leonie Clare DeClerk

Faculty Awards

BSN Outstanding Faculty Award: Nicole Ward, Ph.D., APRN

RN to BSN Outstanding Faculty Award: Tiffany Greenfield, DNP, RN

MNSc. Outstanding Faculty Award: Joan Tackett, DNP

DNP Outstanding Faculty Award: Joan Tackett, DNP

Outstanding Ph.D. Faculty Award: Martha Rojo, Ph.D., RN