Celebrating our 280 nurse graduates.

UVA School of Nursing 2023 Graduation

Under sunny skies and on the North steps of the famed UVA Rotunda, 280 Class of 2023 UVA School of Nursing students earned their nursing degrees Sunday, May 21:

  • 83 students earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees
  • 38 RNs earned BSNs through the RN to BSN program
  • 52 Clinical Nurse Leader students earned a Master's of Science in Nursing degree (MSN)
  • 79 students earned MSNs and post-master's specialty certificates
  • 21 students earned Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees
  • and 7 students earned a PhD in Nursing degree

View photos of the Class of 2023 graduation ceremony on Flickr.

2023 Award Winners

BSN Class of 2023 Award Winners

BSN students chosen by faculty members for their clinical skill, leadership, and academic strength

  • Zoya Zahid
    The nursing student who contributed the most to the School of Nursing
  • Taylor Gibson
    The nursing student who contributed the most to the University
  • Flannery Enneking-Norton
    The 2022 Hemmings Clinical Excellence Award winner
  • Neha Jain
    The 2022 Z Society Edgar Shannon Award for Academic Excellence winner
  • Bridget Bechtloff
    The Virginia Nurses Association Leader Award
  • Ann Welch, RN
    The Susan Hutchinson Memorial Award winner

CNL Class of 2023 Award Winners

Clinical Nurse Leader students chosen by their faculty for their clinical skills, academic prowess, and leadership skills

  • Christine Cavan and Kelly Phillips
    the Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone Award 
  • Chloe Ester Cook
    the Clinical Nurse Leader Clinical Excellence Award

MSN, PhD, and DNP Class of 2023 Award Winners

Graduate students chosen by their faculty mentors for their academic skill, their clinical dedication, and for the power and strength of their scholarly pursuits

  • Brittany Harrison
    the Distinguished Nurse Award
  • Marina McBee
    the Outstanding DNP Scholarly Practice Project Award
  • Reynaldo Capucao
    the Barbara Brodie Scholars Award
  • Soojung Ahn
    the Verhonic Dissertation Award

  • Lauren Catlett
    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award
PhD in Nursing Dissertations

Closely guided by their faculty mentors, PhD in nursing students spend years doing a deep dive into original research topics before presenting their final projects to a committee. The following individuals successfully created, completed, and defended their dissertations:

  • Jonathan Yoder, MSN, RN, FNP-BC (PhD `23)
    Patient and caregiver experiences living with advanced kidney disease
    (mentored by Drs. Randy Jones, Kathryn Laughon, Virginia LeBaron, and Emaad Abdel-Rahman, MD)

  • Crystal Chu, BSN, RN (PhD `23)
    The development of a decision aid to promote informed, shared decision making for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM)
    (mentored by Drs. Randy Jones, Patricia Hollen, Lynn Dengel, MD, and Gina Petroni, MD)

  • Lori Borg, MSN, RN (PhD `23)
    Maternal adverse childhood experiences and infant outcomes
    (mentored by Drs. Jeanne Alhusen, Kathryn Laughon, Katrina Debnam, and Sophie Trawalter)

  • Lourdes Carhuapoma, RN (PhD `23)
    Health-related quality of life among survivors of intracerebral hemorrhage: A hypothesis-generating study of one-year recovery trajectories and healthcare decision making
    (mentored by Drs. Patricia Hollen, Randy Jones, Cathy Campbell, Gina Petroni, MD, and Daniel Hanley, MD)

  • Karin Skeen, RN, NEA-BC (PhD `23)
    Improving health outcomes through disruption of the individual, cultural, and structural cycle of racism
    (mentored by Drs. Barbra Mann wall, Sophie Trawalter, and Kathryn Laughon)

  • Joel Anderson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNL (PhD `23)
    Nurses as formal leaders in United States civilian hospitals, 1891-1991
    (mentored by Drs. Barbra Wall, Kenneth White, Arlene Keeling, and Elizabeth Gorman)

  • Soojung Ahn, RN (PhD `23)
    Psychobehavioral factor and cardiovascular disease risk in family caregivers
    (mentored by Drs. Jeongok Logan, Jill Howie-Esquivel, Jennifer Lobo, Eric Davis, and Misook Chung)
Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Practice Projects

With the guidance of their advisers and clinical mentors, Doctor of Nursing Practice students identify a clinical problem, gather existing research on it, pursue their own avenues of study, and present their findings and the clinical implications. The following DNP students successfully presented and defended their scholarly practice projects:

  • Chloe Michaelis, MSN. APRN, AGACNP-BC, PCCN (DNP `23) - Transitions to care: Piloting a neuro advanced practice provider clinic (mentored by Drs. Beth Hundt, Jill Howie-Esquivel, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Brittany Harrison, AGACNP, CNL (DNP `23) - Utilization of the "3 Wishes Project" to enhance individualization of end-of-life care in a medical ICU (mentored by Drs. Beth Hundt, Clareen Wiencek, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Maj. Q Wright, USAF, MSN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN (DNP `23) - Utilizing a tailored approach to standardized screening of health-related social needs (mentored by Drs. Clareen Wiencek, Ishan Williams, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Marina McBee, MSN, CPNP (DNP `23) - Implementation of eating disorder screening instruments in the pediatric primary care setting (mentored by Drs. Amy Boitnott, Terri Yost, and Elizabeth Watts)

  • Christa Sharpe, MSN, FNP-BC, PCCN (DNP `23) - Program evaluation of team-based model of care in a general cardiology clinic: Impact on access to care and patient satisfaction (mentored by Drs. Linda Eastham, Terri Yost, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Amanda J. Golino, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, PMGT-BC, TCRN (DNP `23) - Improving nursing assessment using the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) (mentored by Drs. Regina DeGennaro, Richard Ridge, and Beth Quatrara

  • Kimberly Miller, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CDCES, ADM-BC (DNP `23) - Translating guidelines into practice: Improving continuous glucose monitoring device validation for patients using insulin pumps during hospitalization (mentored by Drs. Clareen Wiencek, Richard Ridge, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Lindsey Grizzard, MSN, ACNP-BC (DNP `23) - Outcomes associated with a nurse-driven serious illness support tool in achieving goals of care meetings in the surgical-trauma ICU (mentored by Drs. Gina DeGennaro, Clareen Wiencek, and Shelly Orr)

  • Caitlin Burchfield, AGPCNP-BC (DNP `23) - Implementation of a nurse-driven frailty screening to improve access to home-based primary care (mentored by Drs. Gina DeGennaro, Sarah Craig, and Justin Mutter, MD)

  • Sarah Peelen, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC, CMSRN (DNP `23) – An advanced practice provider-driven sleep hygiene intervention for delirium prevention in neurocritical care patients (mentored by Drs. Ishan Williams, Beth Hundt, and Beth Quatrara)

  • Melanie Wallace, MSN, NNP-BC (DNP `23) - Implementation of a national practice guideline for maintaining a neutral thermal environment in preterm infants at an academic medical center (mentored by Drs. Beth Quatrara and Barbara Reyna)
Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone projects

CNL Class of 2023 Capstone Presentations

  • Chris Cavan and Kelly Phillips
    "Temperature Check" - Debriefing sessions to reduce compassion fatigue
  • Hannah Mack-Boll, Julia Neustadt, Katelyn Shea, and Stephen Shiflet
    A quality improvement initiative to enhance new ileosomy patients
  • Emily Barranco, Chloe Ester Cook, Katie Kuekes-Baker, Hannah Thomas, and Katie Zecha
    Evidence-based implementation of pasteurized donor milk protocol in the UVA Birthplace
  • Anne Brady, Annicole Buranych, Lucy Hocker, and Kai Jia
    Fall prevention on 4E
  • Bernice Fan, Chelsea Hugh, Madison Schinstock, and Ellen Pate
    Brushing up on oral hygiene: Implementation of a standardized oral care protocol on an adult medical-surgical unit
  • Emma Buchko, Ruby Claar, Corrine Gardner, and Callie Murray
    Urine collection time out on the neonatal ICU
  • Francesca Azar, Jadyn Currie, Pamela Mulvaney, and Gabby Tennery
    Improving hand hygiene compliance on a pediatric ICU
  • Clara Falls, Sean Porter, Aime Tshibangu, and Kayla Valle
    Time out for CAUTI: Increasing compliance with hospital-wide standard work, a quality improvement project
  • Courtney Curtis, Sara Luse, Maggie Rothberger, and Spencer Stokes
    Improving patient satisfaction through education: An outpatient perioperative perspective
  • Leah Bianchi, Aaron Carr, Michelle Carter, Jordan Hollowell, and Meg Osborne
    Educating staff on prevention of musculoskeletal injuries: A quality improvement project
  • Brandon Brown, Michelle Hilado, Emory McVeigh, and Sara Waugh
    Increasing patient satisfaction scores with pain management education on 3 East
  • Christle de Vera, Imani Duck, Erin Keller, and Megan Underwood
    3 East compliance with handoff of care
  • Eli Benn, Brielle Dotson, Emily Heins, and Joseph Roberts
    Patient satisfaction with communication in the UVA Medical Center emergency department waiting room
BSN Distinguished Majors Projects

BSN students who complete Distinguished Majors Projects - work that is over and above what is required to graduate and outside the traditional BSN curriculum - spend the final year of their nursing program investigating a topic of their choice under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The following students, some of whom will publish their findings in academic journals, proposed, tested, and presented their findings to the School community, and graduate as our 2023 Distinguished Majors:

  • Neha Jain (mentor Pam DeGuzman)
    Moral distress and nurse-physician relationship in the Emergency Department

  • Anna Linehan (mentor Amy Boitnott)
    Biases in mental health care for foster care patients

  • Flannery Enneking-Norton (mentor Jessica Keim-Malpass)
    Antiemetic administration practices in pediatric oncology patients: The need for guideline concordant care

  • Emma Ahearn (mentor Jessica Keim-Malpass)
    Parent perspectives of hypoplastic left heart syndrome during hospitalizations: Opportunities for palliative care engagement

  • Ainslie Whitmarsh (mentor Jessie Gibson)
    Anxiety symptoms and disease severity in Parkinson's disease

  • Hunter Saunders (mentor Sharon Bragg)
    Nurses' perceptions of alarm response rate in ICU patient on COVID-19 isolation status

  • Cassandra Bravo-Rodriguez (mentor Emma Mitchell)
    Interpretation encounters with Spanish-speaking patients in the Emergency Department

  • Da Kim (mentor Ha Do Byon)
    Racial microaggressions: The lived experiences of nurses of color

  • Matthew Anthony (mentor Kathryn Reid)
    Analysis of visitor restrictions on the incidence rate of delirium

  • Samantha Lane (mentor Kathryn Laughon)
    Sexual harassment of nursing students in the clinical setting

  • Kelena Lewis Matthews (mentor Jenn Kastello)
    Healthcare professionals' perceptions of doulas in the clinical setting

  • Caroline Zappas (mentor Jenn Kastello)
    Patient education assessment: How are obstetrical professionals educating patients considering elective induction?

Meet our Class of 2023 nurses

DNP student Caitlin Burchfield, an NP who does home visits with frail older Virginians as part of Virginia at Home program.

Money Matters

Nurses at UVA are increasingly learning business and financial skills because, Professor Richard Ridge says, they need to be "full partners."

Read more
An image of a stethoscope and a plane to convey travel nursing

Nursing Narratives

DNP students Chloe Michaelis, a neurological ICU nurse, and Cali Caldwell, a mental health NP, take opposing stances on the impact travel nurses make.

Read more
Nursing student Davon Okoro models his Guerison Globale fashion creations, including his branded glasses.

Class of 2023: Davon Okoro

BSN student Davon Okoro began his clothing company Guerison Globale at the start of the pandemic. As he prepares to graduate, he's also got a budding music career.

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Major Q Wright, DNP student and a nurse practitioner in the Air Force.

Meet Major Q Wright, Air Force NP and Member of the DNP Class of ’23

Maj. Wright, an ICU nurse in the Air Force who graduates in 2023 with a DNP, studies primary care interventions to keep her patients out of the hospital.

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Crystal Chu, RN to BSN graduate and PhD in nursing student video poster

[VIDEO] No Regrets

Alumna, oncology nurse and PhD graduate Crystal Chu (PhD `23, BSN `18) often meets women considering having a double mastectomy, even when they've got cancer in just one breast.

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Hilado, who graduates from the CNL program in May 2023, and will become a pediatric medical-surgical nurse after graduation, is the daughter of two nurses.

Meet Michelle Hilado, Clinical Nurse Leader Student in the Class of ’23

Hilado, daughter of two nurses who earned her first degrees in biology and American Sign Language, will become a pediatric medical-surgical nurse after earning a master's in May 2023.

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RN to BSN student Sean Selby, a former body guard turned nurse.

Class of 2023: Trading His Tux for Scrubs

RN to BSN student and cardiac nurse Sean Selby (BSN `23) is a former celebrity bodyguard who feels more at home with the mental muscle nursing requires.

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CNL intro video poster with Aaron Carr, CNL 23

[VIDEO] Who Are CNLs?

They've been called 'great investments' for hospitals, due to their professionalism, satisfaction, and longevity. But what makes them special? Meet a few.

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CNL Class of 2023

Happy, Satisfied, Resilient: CNLs Make 'Great Investments'

More than 9 in 10 CNL graduates report being 'satisfied" or 'extremely satisfied' with their personal and professional lives, according to a 2022 study.

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UVA School of Nursing

Class of 2023: PhD Student Named AACN Faculty Scholar

PhD student Lourdes Carhuapoma, one of just six students chosen from around the nation, will be part of the AACN's 2019 cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars.

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Christi Wilson, in the RN to BSN program and an oncology RN, and daughter Emma

[VIDEO] Class of 2023: Meet Christi

UVA's RN to BSN program - hybrid, part-time, and with a monthly in-person class - helped Christi Wilson (BSN `23) 'be more confident using my voice.'

Read more