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Events | Health Education and Human SciencesDecember 20, 2021

Nursing Pinning Ceremony Held Dec. 17

Written By: Samantha Contreras

The College of Health, Education, & Human Sciences at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith held its annual 51st Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Award Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing at 6 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Breedlove Auditorium with Stephanie Whitaker, vice president of patient care services of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, serving as guest speaker.

“As nurses these graduates are going to make a big difference in people’s life every single day,” said Whitaker. “To recognize these UAFS graduates and participate in this pinning is always an honor.”

Whitaker has been a part of the River Valley health care community since 2015, serving in a variety of nursing leadership roles following more than 20 years of nursing experience. Prior to joining Mercy, she served as the vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Fort Smith and Van Buren.

Awards were given in four categories – valedictorian, salutatorian, outstanding clinician in nursing award, and the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing spirit award, and more than 30 graduates pinned.

Allison Snipes of Rogers, Arkansas was named valedictorian and Mallery Horn of Denton, Texas was named salutatorian, signifying the highest and second-highest cumulative grade point average respectively.

Yasmin Cruz-Rios of Waldron, Arkansas was earned the Outstanding Clinician in Nursing Award and Allison Snipes earned the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing Spirit Award. Both awards were sponsored by Baptist Health, Good Samaritan Clinic, and Mercy Fort Smith.

Members of the UAFS chapter of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA,) also received graduation cords. Students receiving cords were: Katelyn Parker of Frisco, Texas as SNA president, Macy Horn of Denton, Texas as SNA vice president, Allison Snipes of Rogers, Arkansas as SNA fundraising and assistant community service, Aubrey Hyman of Mountainburg, Arkansas as SNA publicist, Drew Davis of Fort Smith as SNA secretary, Natasha Gray of Fort Smith as an SNA active member.

“Our UAFS chapter of the Student Nurses Association is involved not only on campus activities but also throughout the Fort Smith community,” said Cindy Parnell, instructor of nursing at UAFS. “The SNA strives to foster professional development of nursing students and supports their aspirations entering into the field of professional nursing.”

The BSN Award Pinning Ceremony also recognized and honored the memory of Brittany Nichole Huggins of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a student who passed away this year.