UHV nursing school to hit milestone at Saturday pinning ceremony

Linda Dune, left, a former University of Houston-Victoria associate professor, puts a nursing pin on Carrie Dahlstrom’s dress during the fall School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony. Nursing faculty will pin 52 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing graduates during Saturday’s pinning ceremony at Faith Family Church

The number of University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing alumni will grow to 700 after Saturday’s spring commencement and pinning ceremonies.

School of Nursing faculty will pin 37 Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates and 15 Master of Science in Nursing graduates during the 3 p.m. pinning ceremony at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane in Victoria. The nursing and UHV School of Business Administration commencement ceremony will proceed the pinning at 1 p.m. at the same location. Commencement for the schools of Arts & Sciences and Education & Human Development will begin at 9 a.m. at Faith Family.

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.

Kathryn Tart

“Commencement and the pinning ceremony mark a significant triumph for these 52 nurses,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “This is a day they have worked diligently to get to, through long hours of instruction and studying. The UHV School of Nursing faculty is honored to celebrate the completion of this journey. We wish our graduates much success in their nursing roles as they lead at the bedside, in the clinics, in education, administration and the community where they will serve patients from every walk of life.”

Since its start in 2007, 648 students have earned degrees from the UHV School of Nursing. The 52 graduating Saturday puts the number at exactly 700.

“It’s another important milestone for our school to achieve,” Tart said. “To reach 700 this quickly is a tribute to our faculty, staff and the dedication of our students.”

UHV offers an accelerated, 12-month RN to BSN program that includes classroom instruction and clinical work every Tuesday. The program is offered in Victoria, Sugar Land, Katy and The Woodlands. The MSN program is designed to build upon the BSN degree. Students are prepared to function at advanced levels with an expanded knowledge of theory, research and clinical application.

Sammie Drehr

Sammie Drehr, chief nursing officer of DeTar Healthcare System in Victoria, will give the pinning speech at Saturday’s ceremony. She said it’s an honor to be asked to participate in the pinning ceremony.

“Seeing the nurses grow into a higher-level degree is exciting and makes me proud,” Drehr said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them achieve greater heights after graduation.”

In her speech, Drehr said she will thank the families for the support they gave and encourage the graduates to continue seeking learning opportunities.

“I’ll also take a moment to speak about the need for nursing in the next 10 years,” Drehr said. “The baby boomers soon will be retiring, so advanced nurses will be in huge demand.”

Drehr has worked at DeTar since 1992, starting as the associate director of nursing and advancing to the CNO position in 2008. She has worked with several UHV nursing alumni the past few years.

“We support the nursing students by working with them on scheduling times they can attend classes,” she said. “It’s important for our future, as well. We’re pleased to have UHV here to provide this educational element for our nurses. BSN- and MSN-prepared nurses bring the research, education and leadership skills that are needed to go forward in the future with nursing.”

For more information about UHV nursing programs, visit or call toll free to 877-970-4848, ext. 4370.

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