UHV nursing graduate wins ‘Salute to Nurses’ award

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University of Houston-Victoria alumna Linda Lim-Buckingham, left, attends a recognition luncheon with Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the university’s School of Nursing. Lim-Buckingham was honored at the event with a Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses award.

The top undergraduate in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing recently won a coveted award given to only five nursing students in the Houston area.

Linda Lim-Buckingham, who on Saturday received a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at one of UHV’s commencement ceremonies, was honored with the Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses award. She received a $1,500 scholarship.

“It was such an honor to be chosen for this award,” Lim-Buckingham said. “It was difficult to balance being a nurse, student, wife and mother, but the award is validation for the sacrifices I made to get my RN to BSN degree.”

Lim-Buckingham, a native of Manila in the Philippines, has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. She chose to make a career change from computer programming to nursing, first getting an associate degree at a community college, then entering the RN to BSN program at UHV. She earned a 4.0 grade-point average while taking classes at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, where UHV offers the nursing program. She also worked as a medical-surgical-telemetry nurse at St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital.

Lim-Buckingham said she plans to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing as a nurse practitioner, but she wants to take some time off from school first before pursuing that goal.

This marks the third year in a row that a UHV student has received the Salute to Nurses award. In 2009, undergraduate Lauren Watson won the award, and last year, Antonio Garcia, a BSN graduate who is now enrolled in UHV’s MSN program, was honored.

Peers and instructors who nominated Lim-Buckingham for the prize said she demonstrated academic leadership and service, and was a role model for her classmates. She said she also wanted to be a role model for her daughter, a university student in San Antonio, who plans to follow her into the nursing field.

The award was created to recognize outstanding nurses and nursing students during National Nurses Week, which is celebrated annually from May 6 through 12.

Nursing schools in the Houston area are asked to nominate students for their achievements in the classroom, as well as their character, dedication and promise. Five students are chosen each year. A luncheon honoring the recipients was held May 10 at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel in Houston.

“This is a great honor for Ms. Lim-Buckingham, who is a fine example of someone who made a career change and entered the nursing field,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “It is remarkable that one of our students received this award, and the fact that UHV students have received the award three years in a row is a wonderful reflection on our school.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342