New nursing students to take part in special ceremony

SUGAR LAND – An upcoming ceremony will welcome the new University of Houston-Victoria Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing students to the profession and give their families an inside look at the university’s School of Nursing.  

The 2013 Hands of Caring ceremony will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Susan Ryon Davis Multi-Purpose Room in Brazos Hall at UH Sugar Land, 14000 University Blvd.  

“The Hands of Caring is an important event because these students are dedicating their lives to caring for others in the nursing profession,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “One of the best tools nurses have is their hands. Our hands become instruments of caring.”  

Kathryn Tart

The Second Degree BSN program allows individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field to become nurses in a year after meeting admission criteria. Most students start the program in January and graduate in December. 


While many students have careers in others areas, Tart said one reason the School of Nursing has held the ceremony every year since 2010 is to formally introduce the students into nursing. Another reason is to make their family members familiar with the type of work their loved one will have to do to earn a degree.  

“The more families understand the amount of work that these students will encounter, the more support they will give them,” Tart said.  

After past Hands of Caring ceremonies, families have told Tart they can see the whole picture about the Second Degree BSN program.  

“They were glad they came,” Tart said. “They love meeting the faculty and the other students. We take the families on a tour of the Methodist Sugar Land Nursing Simulation Center in Brazos Hall. It can be an emotional event. There have been a few tears shed during the ceremony.”  

Linda Dune, associate professor and coordinator of the Second Degree BSN program, will read an original poem, “We Touch,” she wrote for the ceremony.  

A trio of faculty members will make presentations during the event. Sandra McNeely, assistant clinical professor, will present “Caring for Those Who Suffer: Highlights from Curriculum & Instruction.” Lisette Barton, assistant professor, will talk about innovation in nursing education, and Shainy Varghese, assistant professor, will present “Caring in Telehealth.”  

The event is open to the friends and family of the students, along with UHV faculty and staff.

For more information about the School of Nursing or the Hands of Caring ceremony, contact Tammy Whatley, senior recruitment coordinator, 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