Fifth-annual Notes for Nurses to celebrate 25th anniversary of nursing program

Jacob Smith • Sep 22, 2017 at 1:57 PM

Notes for Nurses, a fundraiser for Cumberland University’s Nursing School, will be held Saturday at the Savage Aviation Hangar at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.

Notes for Nurses had a significant impact on the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions in the past four years. More than $200,000 in cash, pledges and sponsorship was raised for simulation equipment and scholarship support.

The event, now in its fifth year, will feature dinner catered by Sammy B’s and a performance by recording artist Jonell Mosser, a blues, jazz and Americana singer.

Jodi Pennington with American National Home Health and Pam McAteer with Dental Group Transformations are the event chairs, and Cristy Stumb is the honorary chair. Stumb is a graduate of Cumberland’s nursing program, where she also is a current instructor and was the interim dean at one time.

“We are very excited about the 2017 Notes for Nurses event,” said McAteer. “This evening will be the kickoff for the 25th anniversary celebration for the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions. It will be a night of celebrating nurses with wonderful music, dinner and dancing.”

The nursing school, started in 1991, has had more than 1,400 students graduate.

Dr. Jeanette Cantrell Rudy helped found the Cumberland University nursing program, now named after Rudy, with her funding in 1992. Linda Watlington was the first person to head the nursing program.

“When we first started in 1992, there were no deans at CU. They were all called chair of division so it was a chair of division of nursing,” said Fay McRady a recent retiree of the nursing school who was there when it started. “The person who did all of the planning for courses, outlined the sequence of them, including the clinicals, and started the program was Linda Watlington, and she stayed until May 2000. I do not want Linda Watlington’s contribution to the program to be lost. She really knew education and designed a strong program that we changed as we went.”

In 2004, Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon provided about 15,000 square feet of unused area at the former McFarland Hospital for classrooms, two learning resource laboratories, offices, student and faculty lounges, major educational equipment and supplies needed for nursing skills simulation.

“That’s the generosity of Tennova that has allowed us to be here,” said current interim president Joy Kimbrell. “It’s a win-win, because we supply them graduates, because there’s a nursing shortage.”

The nursing program currently uses the old building for classrooms, as well as laboratories, where students can get hands-on simulation training.

The money made from the Notes for Nurses fundraiser will go toward buying more equipment for the students with which to work.

“Up on the third floor is an old intensive care unit, and it’s not being used for anything,” said Kimbrell. “Tennova has donated that space to us. Part of this fundraiser is to raise moneys for a really high-tech simulation lab. Since we’ve started it, we’ve bought a sim-mom. It’s a big life-size mannequin that talks. It has vital signs functions, it bleeds, and it delivers a baby. It was through the generosity of people within this community that we were able to buy that.”

According to Kimbrell, the money raised from Notes for Nurses will go to buy an entire lab full of simulation patients.

Changes to the event this year include a new location at the Lebanon Airport, which is Jack Lowery’s Savage Aviation hangar. An after-party is will be introduced this year, and the attire has changed from casual to dressy-casual.

“Our mission this year is to deliver a new look and a different experience. Let’s give them something to talk about,” said Jodi Pennington.

The main event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Savage Aviation hangar will also feature a cash bar, dancing and a live auction. The after-party will have a deejay, dancing and snack bar.

Tickets for the main event are $40 for Cumberland University alumni. General admission tickets are $50. A $75 general admission ticket also allows admission to the after party. Seats are limited.

A table of eight seats for Notes for Nurses is $500. A VIP table of eight seats plus two tickets to the VIP reception is $750. The VIP reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the airport’s new terminal.


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