posted December 8, 2011

Nursing Student and Professor Honored

A Hope College professor and student each received individual recognition for excellence during the recent induction and installation ceremony of the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

The chapter recognized Dr. Barbara Baele Vincensi, assistant professor of nursing, with its "Excellence in Nursing Education Award" and senior Abby Branderhorst of Zeeland as the college's recipient of an "Outstanding Student Performance Award."

The event was held on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. The chapter includes the Calvin, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Hope nursing programs.

Also during the ceremony, students from each of the four schools were inducted into the society. The students from Hope, all seniors, were: Lia (Holwerda) Arendsen of Gallup, N.M.; Abby Branderhorst of Zeeland; Lien Brusselmans of Plainwell; Jack Constant of Dorr; Alexandra Egedy of Hudsonville; Kimberly Holton of Spring Lake; Heather Mills of Grandville; Danielle Petzak of Zeeland; Anna Rowland of Chelsea; Rebecca Segar of Mendon, N.Y.; Emily Staley of Delton; Amanda Sutton of Novi; and Amy Veltkamp of Cedar Springs.

Vincensi has been a fulltime member of the Hope faculty since 2006, and also serves as a family nurse practitioner at Lakewood Family Medicine. During the current school year, she is teaching courses including "Nursing Research Practicum" and "Community Health Theory and Practicum," and is also mentoring an independent study in nursing. Her professional interests include spirituality; gerontology; health outcomes in older adults related to spiritual care in nursing; complementary and alternative health care practices; relationships of culture, spirituality and health practices; nursing theory development; indigent, immigrant and medically underserved populations; access to health care; and holistic health nursing and integrated medicine.

She is certified as both a family nurse practitioner and an advanced holistic nurse. Her clinical experience includes trauma/surgical intensive care, home health are, medical surgical nursing, general medical surgical critical care, endoscopy, post-anesthesia recovery and cardiac rehabilitation. Through the years she has also served as a clinical nursing instructor at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Emory University and Albany Medical Center.

In addition to Sigma Theta Tau, Vincensi's professional memberships include the American Nurses Association, the American Holistic Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She has also served as a peer reviewer with the "Orthopedic Nursing of Journal" and as a book reviewer with the "Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing." Grant support of her work has included awards from both the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large and the American Holistic Nurses Association for her dissertation research project, "Spiritual Care in Advanced Practice Nursing."

Among other community service, she is a member and past chair of the Holland Area Catholic Nurses Health Ministry Board, and a past member of the Advisory Board of Hospice of Holland.

Vincensi completed her doctorate (PhD) in nursing at Loyola University Chicago in August. She also holds ADN and BSN degrees from Purdue University, and an MSN from Indiana University as well as a post-Masters certificate as a family nurse practitioner from Grand Valley State University.

Branderhorst is a nursing major who is interested in a career in pediatric nursing. After graduation she hopes to work at a Magnet hospital (a hospital recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for excellence in patient care and nursing practice).

She has been active in volunteering with programs such as Breakfast with Baby and Special Education Ministries. She has also been chosen to present a poster at the Midwest Nursing Research Society conference being held in April in Dearborn.

She is the daughter of Arlan and Nancee Branderhorst of Zeeland, and is a 2008 graduate of Zeeland East High School.

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Founded in 1922, the honor society has inducted more than 125,000 members in 90 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others. The honor society's 483 chapters are located at 586 institutions of higher education throughout Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United States and Wales.

The college joined the Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large in 1996.