May 30, 2018

College of Nursing Celebrates 2018 Graduates at Pinning Ceremony

CON students

May 30, 2018 | Commencement weekend festivities started a day early for the UAMS College of Nursing as it honored its 282 graduates at its annual pinning, hooding and recognition ceremony May 18.


Friends and family packed the First Pentecostal Church sanctuary in North Little Rock as graduates from the baccalaureate, master’s, DNP and PhD programs were recognized.


Marking the completion of the undergraduate education, baccalaureate students received lapel pins. The tradition dates back to the 19th century and Florence Nightingale at the Nightingale School of Nursing in London.


The UAMS College of Nursing pin is gold and in the shape of Arkansas. It is only to be worn on lab coats or scrubs as UAMS graduates provide care. The pins were provided by the Little Rock Departmental Club, a local organization with a storied connection to the College of Nursing including its establishment in 1953.


College of Nursing Dean Patricia A. Cowan, PhD, RN, led the BSN graduates in reciting the Nightingale Pledge. It calls on nurses to be devoted to their patients and the community while promoting the health and welfare of all.


MNSc and DNP graduates were ushered on stage to be hooded by their specialty coordinators and advisors. While PhD graduates were honored as well, they were hooded by their advisors at the UAMS Commencement on May 19.


Yearly awards were handed out to numerous students across each program. Jane McGee Wilson received the Dean’s Award, which recognizes individuals who have contributed to the growth and success of the college.


Wilson is a member of the UAMS Foundation Fund Board and UAMS College of Nursing Advisory Board.


“Jane is a passionate advocate for nursing and the UAMS College of Nursing,” said Cowan.


Cowan issued three challenges to the graduates. First, never stop learning.


“It is crucial that you commit to lifelong learning to improve the health of our citizens,” she said. “You will learn more after you graduate than you learned while in school.”


Cowan underscored the importance of a strong, ethical foundation for nurses as well.


“Your priority commitment is to the patient,” said Cowan. “Promote, advocate for and protect their rights, health and safety.”


As alumni of UAMS, Cowan said it was important for graduates to never forget their role as ambassadors of the university and college.


“Pay it forward by being generous with your time, talent and treasure,” she said. “You are well-prepared to improve the health of others and positioned to engage in the transformation of health care.”


Below are the students who received awards by program.


Baccalaureate Student Awards


The Faculty Gold Key: Tara Ann Burns & Lauren Elizabeth Zeigler


The Virginia R. Jarratt Award: Mariela Jurman Schleuse


The Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution: Chester Larry Robinson Jr.


Ina Swetnam Award: Rawshedah Renee Willis


Gloria Rauch Award:  Megan Riane Goad


The Little Rock Departmental Club Awards: Dahranesha Sequioa Ontraia Moss


The Outstanding RN to BSN Award: Dzifa Afua Agbodjah


Griffey’s Professionalism Award: Allison Marriana Mink & Caleb James Hixon


Daisy in Training Award: Courtney Lynn Anemone


BSN Student to Student Awards


Nightingale Award: Lauren Elizabeth Zeigler & Victoria Leigh Whitson


Nurses’ Nurse Award: Rachel Michelle Modisette & Elizabeth Warner Patrick


Nursing Excellence Award: Lauren Elizabeth Zeigler, Taylor Dawn Castle & Masson Kay Yates


Most Supportive Student Award: Abriam Ethaniel Key & Chester Larry Roberson Jr.


Graduate Student Awards


Outstanding Future Nurse Leader Award: Leah D. Richardson


Kathryn P. “Bucky” Thomas Award: Marilyn Faye Hughes


The Veronica McNeirney Award: Devin Annette Devlin


Willa Belle Adams Award: Ariella Frazier


PhD Student Awards


Dr. Eric Ashworth Hodges’ Award for Best Dissertation: Leah D. Richardson