Skip to content

College of Nursing

iCON | Intranet for the College of Nursing
iCON | Intranet
An icon representing iCON, the Intranet for the College of Nursing

Nurses Week 2024: Advancing Global Health

Thank you for celebrating 2024 Nurses Week with us!


This Nurses Week, the MSU College of Nursing addressed the incredible actions our nurses are taking in communities around the world and how individuals, institutions, and organizations can support their efforts. This includes protecting nurses mental wellbeing and offering supportive resources for nurses to make meaningful professional connections.  


The four central pillars of MSU's Nurses Week are Worldwide Impact, Educating Future Leaders, Wellbeing in Healthcare, and Advancing Health Practices. Read more about Spartan Nurses making powerful impacts on local, state, national, and international communities below.


Want your Nurses Week 2024 Button mailed to you? Contact the Advancement Office.



Part of Worldwide Impact



Part of Educating Future Leaders



Part of Wellbeing in Healthcare



Part of Advancing Health Practices


Celebrating Fellow Nurses

We asked Spartan Nursing alumni to share stories about nurses who inspire them. Friends, family, coworkers, classmates, and teachers all set Spartan Nurses on the path to success, giving them every time of encouragement they could need to be their best. Here are their stories.


Cibele Webb (BSN ‘00) 

Dr. Linda Paskiewicz is a nurse who has had a big impact on me. She was my supervisor at Saint Mary's College Notre Dame IN until she retired. Dr. Paskiewicz hired me on a tenure track and because of her encouragement, I discovered a passion for doing research with undergraduate students, and I earned a PhD myself. Today I serve in a leadership position at the same institution, and I find inspiration to lead from Dr. Paskiewicz example and encouragement to pursue excellence in all I do. 


Robyn King (BSN ‘07, MSN ‘13) 

Carol Vermeesch went out of her way to instill confidence and valuable practical knowledge to myself and so many others in my class and for years before and after. 


Ambyr Mclean (BSN ‘23) 

When I first started working in the ER, I was very excited. During my 3rd week off orientation, I had an extremely difficult patient that I never experienced before. With a lot of push back from the providers about how to treat this patient, my team rallied around me to advocate for myself and my patient. My charge took control, and we were able to make OUR patient comfortable. I learned very quickly that this was a safe and team environment. I love what I do and thank MSU every day for giving me this opportunity to help people. 


Susan Varbedian Lucken (BSN ‘83) 

A very good friend of mine and a retired nurse were playing bridge with a large group of ladies at a club. One of the players collapsed and my friend was the only one to rush to her side to perform CPR on her until help arrived. As it turns out, the victim was also a good friend of mine and though she was in critical care for a while, she survived without any diminished mental capacity. I was so proud of my friend for jumping in and saving her life! She is an inspiration. 


Karen Ann Feddersen (Janzer) (BSN ‘03) 

Even though we didn’t know each other during our nursing school careers at MSU, everything is full circle and Fellow spartan nurses can connect anywhere. Bryan Facione and I have now been coworkers for the past 7 years with the mutual interest of helping our nation’s heroes. We work at the Ann Arbor VA healthcare system in the ENT clinic assisting our veterans with head and neck cancer and disorders. 


Rachel Welsh (BSN ‘21) 

Faith Miller is an excellent nurse. She has pursued a career in oncology after her father beat cancer (again!) and while her mother is actively receiving treatment for breast cancer. She has such love and passion for this specialty. I am proud to be her friend. 


Samantha Clark (BSN ‘22) 

A nurse named Carole that I worked with in the ER at Ascension Borgess Hospital made the biggest impact on me. She cared so much about each and every one of her patients and went above and beyond to ensure they were listened to, and their needs were met. She always got hospital beds for all her patients admitted and stuck in those uncomfortable stretchers in the ER, waiting for a bed on the floor. Not only did she care so much for her patients, but for her coworkers as well. She always brought dessert for birthdays, and a bunch of home cooked dishes on holidays for staff who couldn’t be with their families due to work. She was an amazing person all around and helped me become a better nurse in the short time I worked with her! 


Tammy Caldwell (BSN ‘89) 

My mother's good friend is an RN, graduated from St. Lawrence Nursing school in 1956. Her husband was a farmer, she had many neighbors and friends come to her home before going to the doctor for vital checks and advice. She also tended the sick animals on the farm with her husband. She was a community nurse before there was such a thing. 


Kelly Alkema (BSN ‘18) 

I have been surrounded by wonderful nurses my entire life. When I was just starting my pre requirements for nursing school, I was taking a medical terminology class over the summer at the local community college.  My grandmother, a retired nurse, was living with us during her end-of-life journey.   She helped quiz me every day. It was surprising how much med term she still remembered.   When I graduated and became LPN, she gave me an engraved pair of scissors that were given to her by the first doctor she worked for back in the 1930s. When I became an RN, she sadly wasn't alive to see it, but my mom, also a nurse, pinned me with her nursing pin.  


Karen McGrath (BSN ‘73) 

Mary Beth Pace is an extraordinary nurse. In her executive leadership role at Trinity Health, she epitomizes the best of nursing!  When I worked with Mary Beth, I was inspired by her attention to quality care, her constant focus on the needs of all human beings, and hard work. She influenced health care policy at the highest level of the organization.   


Julia Cornacchia (BSN ‘21) 

My aunt Cindy was the only nurse in our family before I got my nursing degree, and I think a large part of why I was able to get through nursing school and become an RN myself was due to her support. She was always there to reassure me when I felt like I wasn't measuring up and to console me when I felt I had done poorly during clinicals or class periods. She was always there to remind me that nursing is a difficult field and that the main deciding force in my success was my tenacity and my willingness to get up and try again when something got me down. I always admired that she was a nurse and I'm so proud to be an RN now myself despite how challenging nursing can be. She was my rock during nursing school, and I will always fondly remember how attentive and caring she was when I came to her with my fears and concerns as a nursing student. I hope to pay that same energy forward myself to the coming years of nursing students by precepting and by one day becoming a nursing professor to help guide them along their way like my aunt did for me. 


Kathy Kacynski (BSN ‘78) 

Dorothea Milbrandt as VP of Nursing at Ingham Medical Center. As a new grad on nights, I had a patient who kept pulling his IV out because of being delusional. The third time he did it, he said he had to let the motorcycle out. I was so frustrated because the physicians would not give him anything until they made rounds. Dorothea was making rounds as she did frequently, and she restarted my IV for me. Then told me to wake up the resident and request that he come see his patient, if he didn’t you would be calling his attending. It worked! The patient got what he needed, and Dorothea reminded me that I was a patient advocate first and foremost, no matter who yelled at me. Of course, it helped to have the VP of Nursing to have my back. 


Lena Kim (BSN ‘23) 

When I started training for my first ever nursing job, I got paired up with a preceptor named Keifer. He not only taught me everything I needed to know as a nurse, but he also taught me what it meant to be a good person. In my job, it’s hard not to get burnt out. However, he showed me what it meant to truly love the work you do. Every patient, every family member, and every coworker were treated with the same, with respect and empathy. I’ve never admired and respected someone so much. I feel blessed to have been shaped into the nurse I am today by the most amazingly smart and talented nurse I’ve ever met. 


Alexa Ann Andersen (BSN ‘20) 

One of the most impactful experiences I had with a nurse was actually during my first semester of nursing school at MSU; this is when I had my first clinical experience in a hospital setting, & it was the clinical instructor that I had who had a profound impact on my life - both personally & professionally. In addition to just being a great first instructor, I learned from the first day I met her that she & I shared many commonalities - one of which being that we both lived & dealt with a variety of chronic health issues. It was these health issues that essentially made me want to become a nurse but even so, I was very anxious about whether or not I could really physically handle the work. My instructor helped me understand that I could do it, & it was through her example & encouragement that helped push me through school & beyond into my nursing career. Now, not only are we good friends, but also we’re both PhD students together where she continues to inspire me. 


Jacqueline Albarez (BSN '22)

I have a very good friend who works with me. He is a very strong nurse and a person who I am proud to work with. Juan Hernandez took care of my brother-in-law when he was hospitalized with COVID-19. He made sure he had "his tunes" playing for him and assured my brother-in-law was comfortable in his last days.  He has made a huge impact on myself and my family.