The Department of Nursing has established the following honor awards which are awarded annually upon vote of the faculty.
The Outstanding Graduate in Nursing Award
This award was established by Department of Nursing faculty in 1995 in honor of the inaugural class. The award is based on academic performance, College and community service, and commitment to the nursing profession and is awarded to one graduating senior annually.
The Velta Holyfield Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was established by family and friends in memory and honor of Velta Holyfield, an outstanding nurse educator in Wise County. One or more awards are made to rising seniors based on academic achievement, leadership potential, and motivation and talent for excellence in nursing practice.
The Karen Denice Lane Nursing Challenge Award
This award was established in 1999 by family and friends in memory and honor of Karen Denice Lane. The scholarship award will be made to a graduating senior planning to attend graduate school who, faced with the challenges of being a non-traditional student, achieved a high level of academic performance while promoting and supporting his/her classmates and emulating excellence in nursing practice, and is committed to community service and life-long learning. The award is based on merit and need, preference is given to a student with children. Fellow students or faculty may nominate students for the award. The nursing faculty will make the final selection.
Betty M. Johnson Clinical Excellence Award
This award honors Professor Betty Johnson, the Department of Nursing founding chair. Professor Johnson worked to bring a quality baccalaureate nursing program to Southwest Virginia, and continues to be an advocate for excellence in nursing education. She was a founding member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s accrediting body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, of which Department of Nursing has been a member of since inception. The award is given to a student who exhibits the highest standard of care in clinical practice.
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
Senior nursing students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in nursing and in the upper 35% of their graduating class are eligible for induction into Beta Kappa Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students, who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing.
The Society’s History
Sigma Theta Tau was founded in 1922 by six nursing students at Indiana University. Modern nursing was barely 20 years old when Mary Tolle, Edith Moore, Marie Hippensteel, Dorothy Garrigus, Elizabeth Russell and Elizabeth McWilliams met to found a Society to advance the status of nursing as a profession. They recognized the value of scholarship and the importance of excellence in practice. With the full idealism of women forging pathways of change in the 1920s, they wanted to build a framework to encourage future leaders to effectively improve health care.
The founders chose the society’s name from the meaning of the Greek words Storge, Tharos, and Time: “love,” “courage” and “honor.” As women ahead of their time, the founders’ vision for the society helped bring recognition to nursing as a science.
The Society’s Vision and Mission
A Vision to Lead: To create a global community of nurses who lead in using scholarship, knowledge and technology to improve the health of the world’s people.
A Mission to Serve, Support and Improve: Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people. We support the learning and professional development of our members, who strive to improve nursing care worldwide.