UHV School of Nursing to pin graduating class at time-honored ceremony

Kathryn Tart, left, dean of the UHV School of Nursing, congratulates Dolores Ruiz during the spring 2014 Pinning Ceremony. More than 80 fall nursing graduates will be pinned during a ceremony on Dec. 13 in Katy.

Even though Vicki Brownewell’s pinning ceremony at Arizona State University was awhile ago, she still remembers fondly how the event was shared with her classmates, faculty and parents.

Vicki Brownewell

Brownewell, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer for Houston Methodist West Hospital, will be the speaker Dec. 13 at the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony in Katy.

“Pinning is the ceremony in which new nurses are welcomed into the nursing profession,” Brownewell said. “It’s a rite of passage after a long journey of study. One of my dearest treasures is my late mother’s nursing pin from her ceremony in the 1940s.”

The pinning ceremony for 83 UHV nursing graduates will be held at 2 p.m. in the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. 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 signifies the nursing program from which a nurse graduated. Each nursing school has a unique pin.

During the ceremony, UHV School of Nursing faculty members will pin 43 Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates, 32 Second Degree BSN graduates and four Master of Science in Nursing graduates. They also will recognize three students who have earned post master’s certificates and one student who completed a MSN/Master of Business Administration dual degree.

UHV offers an accelerated, 12-month RN to BSN program that includes classroom instruction and clinical work. The school also has a Second Degree BSN program for people holding bachelor’s degrees in other fields who want to become RNs. 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.

Brownewell is in charge of all nursing operations for the newest hospital in the Houston Methodist System. She is a member of the UHV School of Nursing advisory board and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She also is a charter member of Phi Chi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, an organization of nurse leaders, scholars and researchers. In 2009, she was chosen as one of 20 outstanding nurses by the Texas Nurses Association District 9.

Kathryn Tart

“I am thrilled Ms. Brownewell will join us as the pinning ceremony speaker,” said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “She has experienced a great deal of success as a nurse leader and administrator. Her address will add to what is going to be a special day for our graduates and their families.”

During her speech, Brownewell said she will speak about professionalism and a caring attitude, which are both attributes of an excellent nurse. She said UHV does a wonderful job preparing nursing students for the real world.

“Houston Methodist West Hospital has hired several UHV graduates, and they have all done very well,” she said. “We started hiring UHV graduates in January 2011, just after the hospital opened, and 100 percent of them successfully completed their one-year nursing residency. Many of them also have advanced rapidly and are now acting as preceptors and mentors for other new graduates.”

For more information about UHV nursing degrees, visit or call 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