2023, A Year in Review


The year kicked off with enthusiasm as nursing students embarked on a trip to Panama. These students formed a cohesive interdisciplinary team, united by a common goal: understanding the profound relationship between water and health. Their trip took them to an indigenous village, where they implemented a comprehensive community health and water assessment.


In February, the college celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala. The 500 attendees included alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college. The evening opened with a cocktail hour and a silent auction. As the night unfolded, guests were treated to dinner, and a program that recognized the outstanding achievements of 50 esteemed alumni.


In March, Dean Niederhauser and a group of undergraduate students traveled to the nation’s capital, where they participated in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Student Policy Summit, a transformative event that delved into the intricate workings of federal policy processes and the pivotal role of nurses in professional advocacy. The summit helps to equip these aspiring health care professionals with the tools and insights they need to become influential leaders in shaping the future of health care policy.


In the U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Graduate Schools ranking, the DNP program at the college was positioned among the top public programs. The college’s rise was nothing short of impressive, with a remarkable 11-spot leap from the previous year.


The commencement ceremony in May was an exciting event for the graduating students. Families, friends, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the achievements of the graduates and to honor their commitment to nursing.


June was a month of inspiration and mentorship as the college opened its doors to students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. These students joined the college for the Advanced Nursing Camp, an initiative aimed at igniting their passion for the nursing profession. Throughout the camp, they heard lectures, engaged in hands-on simulations, and had the privilege of hearing from leadership at the college.


Doctoral Student Elliot Loughran took the stage at a conference in Johnson City, Tennessee. Loughran delivered a TED Talk, where ideas worth spreading took center stage. Loughran, shared insights and perspectives that captivated the audience, leaving a lasting impression.


The University of Tennessee Medical Center and University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Nursing celebrated the opening of the BSN Scholars Facility with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 25. The new state-of-the-art simulation and learning lab were funded by the medical center for the BSN Scholars partnership, a groundbreaking academic-practice partnership that provides nursing students with an unparalleled opportunity to learn at a respected academic medical center.


In September, the summer Nurse Anesthesia graduates demonstrated their unwavering commitment to excellence by achieving a remarkable 100 percent first-time pass rate on their National Certification Exam.


In October, Kathy Newnam, associate professor at the college, was named an American Academy of Nursing Fellow. This well-deserved honor was a testament to Newnam’s impressive background as a nurse scientist and neonatal nurse practitioner, highlighting her significant contributions to the field.


The college was recently awarded a grant of $1.47 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The grant is specifically designated for the Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative.


In December, it was announced that the annual Sprint for the Prints raised $11,000 to support the Precious Prints Project. The Precious Prints Project comforts grieving families with a sterling silver pendant bearing the fingerprint of their child.


Kara Clark (865-974 9498, kmclark2@utk.edu)