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In the spirit of National Nurses Week, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) honored three team members for their remarkable actions in nursing education in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. Recipients were given a certificate and a gift of appreciation by Dean Judy Westphal at the CON annual meeting on May 17.

The 2018 award recipients for teaching, scholarship and service are Mary Nevins, Bonnie Nickasch and Rebecca Cleveland, respectively. These individuals have been recognized for upholding the values of the college and ideals of nursing education.

Teaching: Mary Nevins ’09 MSN

Nursing instructor Mary Nevins consistently supports the mission, vision and values of the college through her teaching. As an unwavering resource for faculty and staff and an advocate for students, she strives to coordinate nursing courses to deliver impactful in-class content along with relevant out-of-class activities. She is the lead instructor for Adult Health 1 and ensures the three separate class sections offer continuity in content delivery. Nevins also organizes activities for Junior 1 lab.

Nevins maintains her Clinical Nurse Leader certification, bringing leadership to her role as a nurse educator. In the ever-evolving field of healthcare, she tailors her curriculum to be effective in preparing students for the workforce. As an instructor, she consistently receives exemplary student opinion surveys and positive peer evaluations from those in the CON.

 Scholarship/Research: Bonnie Nickasch ’00, ’06 MSN and ’14 DNP

As an assistant professor of nursing and the director of the DNP Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis for the nursing graduate program, Bonnie Nickasch emulates what it is to be a scholarly nurse. Nickasch has had numerous manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and has several more manuscripts in various stages of submission. In addition to written scholarship, she shares her knowledge through oral presentations.

Nickasch has determination to further not only her own scholarship, but also to aid her colleagues and CON graduate and undergraduate students in their areas of research. She has won several distinguished awards for her scholarly activities, including the Sigma Theta Tau–Eta Pi chapter key award for the 2015–2017 biennium, Qualitative Writer’s award, two Sigma Theta Tau–Eta Pi chapter research awards and the Edward M. Penson Distinguished Faculty award. She also received a grant from the Nurses for Wisconsin initiative.

Service: Rebecca Cleveland ’73

Rebecca Cleveland, Student Academic Affairs assistant director for the undergraduate nursing program, has worked in the College of Nursing for 40 years, demonstrating commitment to the success of the students, faculty, staff and college as a whole. She is primarily responsible for undergraduate recruitment and the nursing program admissions process, including pre- and post-admission advising and informational sessions. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau–Eta Pi chapter and champions the Oshkosh Student Nurses’ Association.

Aside from her work within the college, Cleveland acts as liaison to UW Oshkosh admissions, the Dean of Students Office, advising, the Registrar’s Office, counseling, student health, career and professional development services and the Center for Academic Support and Diversity. She presents at many freshmen orientation seminars taking place on campus and collaborates with high school guidance counselors to connect with students. Cleveland also supports a myriad of community organizations, including the Oshkosh Food Pantry, Day by Day Warming Shelter, Christine Ann Center and Father Carr’s Place to Be.

National Nurses Week

Each year, National Nurses week kicks off on May 6, National Nurses Day, and runs through May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. A host of celebrations and events take place across the U.S. throughout the week to honor nurses and to educate the public about the invaluable role nurses play in society.

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