UHV School of Nursing to pin graduating class at traditional ceremony

KATY – More than 90 University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing graduates will take part in a traditional rite of passage Dec. 15 after fall commencement.

At a special pinning ceremony, UHV nursing graduates will receive their nursing pins and hear from speaker Barbara Lazor, chief nursing officer for CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital in Katy.

Kathryn Tart

“This tradition dates back to Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing,” said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “The pin symbolizes the education process the nurse went through. It’s a public showing that the nurse has the ability to care for the patient.”

The pinning ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 Stadium Lane, in Katy. UHV’s fall commencement will be at 11 a.m. that same day at the Merrell Center.

The pin presented to the nurses during the ceremony will stay on their lapels for the rest of their professional careers to let patients know that well-educated nurses are caring for them. The pin itself signifies the nursing program from which a nurse graduated. Each nursing school has its own unique pin.

“The UHV Bachelor of Science in Nursing pin was developed by our first class of nurses,” Tart said. “The Master of Science in Nursing pin is a similar design but has the MSN letters on it. The tradition lives within the school itself, and it will always be there.”

Barbara Lazor

Lazor is familiar with the importance of nursing education and the significance of the pinning ceremony. She earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from Oakland University in Rochester Hill, Mich., and a graduate degree from the University of Phoenix in Houston.

Lazor has worked at CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital since 2003 and has been chief nursing officer since 2005. She is responsible for all nursing areas and support departments, including respiratory care, clinical education, the catheterization lab and the pharmacy. She also has a hand in human resources, risk management and quality management.

“Under her direction, the hospital has grown and won numerous awards,” Tart said. “Her vision and leadership has been instrumental in this growth. We are excited that she has graciously agreed to speak to our graduates.”

Lazor received the 2010 Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Bronze Award and was named the 2011 Texas Nurses’ Association Outstanding Nurse. During her tenure as chief nursing officer, CHRISTUS St. Catherine has won a HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award and earned a Pathway to Nursing Excellence designation.

Lazor serves on the UHV School of Nursing Advisory Committee in Sugar Land. She also is a charter member of the Nursing Honor Society, serves on the University of St. Thomas Clinical Commission, and sits on the Nursing Scholarship Committee and Christ Clinic Board of Governors in Katy.

For more information about UHV nursing programs, contact Tammy Neeley Whatley at 361-570-4297 or

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.

Jeremy Shapiro