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2019 NightinGala Salutes Nursing in Mid-South; New Awards Honor Nurse Heroes

Ann Cashion

The College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center hosts its third-annual NightinGala May 4 to salute the accomplishments of nurses and the impact the profession has on the community.

The 2019 gala features a keynote address by Ann Cashion, PhD, RN, FAAN, acting director and scientific director of the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. The event also includes the inaugural presentation of four Nurse Hero Awards honoring nurse leaders in the community.

Dr. Cashion is no stranger to Memphis or the UTHSC College of Nursing. Originally from Helena, Arkansas, Dr. Cashion, is a graduate of the PhD in Nursing program and a former department chair in the UTHSC College of Nursing. Dr. Cashion has been at NINR since 2011.

“We hosted the first NightinGala three years ago because we know nurses play a vital role in health care delivery,” said Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, ARNP-BC, FAANP, dean of the UTHSC College of Nursing. “That’s why nursing is consistently voted the most honest and ethical profession in annual Gallup surveys. It is also why it is our privilege to train the next generation, and to take time out to salute all our nursing colleagues who provide care in any setting,”

Dean Likes said the new awards were created to spotlight individuals who show outstanding achievement in various caregiving roles. “Too often, nurses are not recognized for their contributions,” she said. “We believe they should be.”

The Nurse Hero Awards are:

Bedside Nurse Hero: Recognizes a registered nurse who has demonstrated outstanding contributions at the point of care/bedside.

Nursing Team Heroes: Recognizes collaboration by two or more people led by a registered nurse, who identify and meet the needs of patient families by going above and beyond the traditional role of nursing.

Advanced Practice Nurse Hero: Recognizes the outstanding contribution of a nurse of advanced practice, including in the positions of nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist.

Executive Leader Nurse Hero: Recognizes the outstanding contributions of a registered nurse in a position of leadership, such as a nursing director, manager, supervisor, clinical educator, case manager, nurse manager, or leader.

Nominations are open until April 20 and can be submitted at uthsc.edu/nightingala.

Nurses and other health care professionals from across Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond are expected to attend the NightinGala dinner and silent auction in Hardin Hall at the Memphis Botanic Garden beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 for individuals and $130 for couples. To register and purchase tickets, go to uthsc.edu/nightingala.

Proceeds from the NightinGala support the efforts of the Center for Community Partnerships and Nursing Innovation in the UTHSC College of Nursing. The center is designed to develop sustainable partnerships with clinical, research, and service institutions in the Mid-South to advance health care, foster innovative nursing strategies, reduce health disparities, and improve patient outcomes.

The NightinGala is being held in conjunction with the 2019 UTHSC College of Nursing Alumni Weekend and National Nurses Week, May 6-12.