Vol State Alumnus is Named Vanderbilt Staff Nurse of the Year

Submitted on June 12, 2013 at 9:25 AM

It's never too late to start a new career. No one knows that better than Brenda Hughey of Hendersonville. The Vol State alumnus jumped back into higher education 19 years ago. Now she's been named Staff Nurse of the Year for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. That's a top award at an institution with more than 2,500 nurses. She looks back on the decision to enroll in the TSU/Vol State Nursing program as a good one.

"I was married with kids and I worked full-time while I went to school. Vol State back then was a little place."

The path wasn't always smooth.

"College is not easy. It was intimidating to come back to school. The teachers were great. They encouraged you to keep going. I was 40 when I graduated."

Her education brought her to Vanderbilt, where she has worked for many different clinics, including the post op floor for liver transplants and now the Urology floor.

"I love my patients. I love to help them and take care of them. No matter what you do when you are a nurse it's about helping people."

News of the Staff Nurse of the Year honor was kept secret from Hughey until the day of the awards. She was nominated with 16 other nurses.

"When they called my name I was totally surprised."

For more information on the TSU Nursing program at Vol State visit: /Nursing/?ref=az

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