College of Nursing at UTHSC Honors Three with Alumni Awards

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Debbie Hatmaker, Charlotte Smalley and Katherine Darling (L-R), were presented with alumni awards during this year’s Alumni Awards Dinner. (Photo courtesy of Libby Wyatt)

Three graduates of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing have been honored with Alumni Awards by the college and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at the recent Alumni Awards Dinner.

2018 Recent Alumna Award Winner: Katherine Darling, DNP, College of Nursing ’10

Dr. Darling received her DNP from the College of Nursing’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program in 2010. Since then she has advocated for the profession and is active in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), being inducted as a Fellow in 2015.

Katherine Darling, DNP

In her role, she serves as the AANP representative for the state of Arkansas and has diligently worked to gain statistics regarding the advanced practice registered nurse provider’s role in buprenorphine treatment. Through an $8 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Dr. Darling and a select group of nurse practitioner leaders are working to increase the total number of nurse practitioners in the state who obtain the Drug Enforcement Administration waiver required to treat opioid use disorder with buprenorphine through meeting with leadership of the State Targeted Response Team, led by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Dr. Darling is also the founding member of the Arkansas Nurses Roundtable which was established in 2017. The stakeholder group is comprised of advanced practice specialty nurses and association groups who work to advise and promote legislative policy for nurse practitioners in Arkansas. Through their work, Dr. Darling has successfully facilitated the introduction of four bills heard by the Arkansas legislature in 2017 which included a collaboration with a grassroots campaign geared toward professionals, legislators, patients and their families, to work together to improve access to care within Arkansas.

In addition to her involvement with the AANP, Dr. Darling is active in the Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association (ANPA) and the Arkansas Nurses Association (ARNA). She served as the AANP Arkansas State Representative since 2013. She is the founder of ANPA and a current board member. Currently working as a contractor for outpatient psychiatric mental health care in outpatient clinics, Dr. Darling serves as the co-chair of the ANPA Legislative and Policy Committee and the interim chair of the Political Action Committee. She has clinically practiced in community mental health outpatient clinics, inpatient acute hospitals and owned a private practice from 2014-2016.

2018 Outstanding Alumni Award: Debbie Dawson Hatmaker, PhD, College of Nursing ’79

Debbie Dawson Hatmaker, PhD

Currently serving as interim chief executive officer of the American Nurses Association Enterprise (ANA), Dr. Hatmaker is a nationally known nurse leader. In her role as interim CEO, she represents the 3.6 million registered nurses who are members of the organization. She is also an active member of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which strives to promote excellence in nursing and health care through credentialing programs globally, and the American Nurses Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Nurses Association.

She holds another leadership role for the American Nurses Association, serving as its executive director/executive vice president where she leads the strategic plan of the organization to advance policy, advocacy and national communication agendas on behalf of its members.

In addition, she has served on many elected and appointed leadership roles including president of the Georgia Nurses Association from 1999-2002; as the first vice president of the ANA from 2006-2010; and president of ANCC, serving two terms from 2007-2011, a role she was appointed to by the ANA Board of Directors. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2012.

2018 Most Supportive Alumna Award: Charlotte Smalley, FNP, College of Nursing ’75, ’79

Actively involved in educating nurse practitioner students, Dr. Smalley has served as adjunct professor in the University of Tennessee Chattanooga School of Nursing for more than 20 years. She taught women’s health courses to the first Family Nurse Practitioner cohort of UTC’s School of Nursing in 1996 and continued to teach the course for many years.

Charlotte Smalley, FNP

Dr. Smalley received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UTHSC in 1975 and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Nursing in 1979. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Tennessee Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society for Nursing.

Her career in nursing is varied serving not only as a preceptor, but in private practice settings. Her roles have included public health nurse for the Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department, family nurse practitioner and local health director for the Southeast Regional Health Office, and family nurse practitioner for the Homeless Health Care Center in Chattanooga. She has also been with the Erlanger Women’s Institute for Specialized Health (formerly WISH), a world-class OB/GYN in Chattanooga, for more than 20 years.

Dr. Smalley is the recipient of the first Champions in Health Care award in the non-physician category, an honor she received in 2016 from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Edge magazine, and the Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society for her work in the Chattanooga area.