HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Katherine Nugent, Dean of the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, has added another sparkling honor to her illustrious career with induction in the Mississippi Nurses' Association Hall of Fame.
Nugent was recognized during the 11th Nightingale Awards Gala hosted by the Mississippi Nurses' Association and the Mississippi Nurses' Foundation on March 6 in Jackson, Miss. Nurses throughout the state were nominated in 18 award categories and four inductions into the distinguished Hall of Fame were announced.
"Nursing has provided me with many opportunities to impact the lives of others in clinical practice and in nursing education," said Nugent, who has served as Dean of the College of Nursing since 2012. "It has been a privilege to work with so many outstanding professional nurses in Mississippi. I am truly honored to be inducted into the Mississippi Nurses' Association Hall of Fame which recognizes excellence in nursing and a lifetime commitment to the profession of nursing."
A New Orleans native, Nugent became a registered nurse in 1970 after earning her BSN from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. Seven years later she earned her MSN from Texas Woman's University before receiving her doctorate in 1987 from Texas A&M University.
She spent many years as a pediatric nurse and later worked as a clinical specialist in pediatrics. In 1985 Nugent began teaching as a faculty member in nursing programs and in 1987 began her career in administrative positions within schools of nursing. She joined the USM faculty in 2004 as Director of the School of Nursing and served in that capacity until being named dean.
During Nugent's tenure as dean, the USM College of Nursing has experienced significant growth and success. Notable accomplishments include:
Increased enrollment in all levels of programs and degrees
Retention rates in the majors consistently above 95 percent
Exemplary licensure pass rates and certification pass rate above 95 percent
Launch of new programs – Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and Nurse Anesthesia Program (state's only accredited program)
Conversion of graduate programs to online programs to increase accessibility
Earlier this month the University celebrated the official dedication of Asbury Hall, the College of Nursing's new $31-million home. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the nursing program at Southern Miss.