Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Chapter Garners Awards at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students Convention

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ATHENS — Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing had an impressive showing at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students’ 59th Annual Convention in Athens Oct. 13-15.  The College’s student chapter received the Financial Excellence Award and Best Web Site Award and won the Penny Wars Competition. In addition, Jill Ray, clinical assistant professor at the College, received the Advisor of the Year Award and Elaine Harris, clinical associate professor, was the keynote speaker for the event.

“The leadership exemplified by our students at the Georgia Association of Nursing Students Convention is just another example of why nursing students at Mercer are simply the best of the best,” said Dr. Linda Streit, dean of the College. “Our College’s commitment to education and professional development remains steadfast as we continue to prepare future nursing leaders for the world.”

The College had eight students who served on the Georgia Association of Nursing Students board for this year, as well as 52 delegates to the convention and more than 50 student attendees. Five students, all juniors, were slated to run for state executive officer positions and all five were elected to their office: Sarah Van Pelt, nominations and elections committee west; Vanessa Okolie, west district director; Lauren McDonald, community health director; Kathleen Quinn, public relations director; and Jason Billings, first vice president. Several Georgia Baptist College of Nursing alumni were asked to return to speak at the convention, including Jaime Benator, a 2011 graduate and recipient of the 2011 National Spirit of Nursing Award.

The College’s chapter advisers are Ray, Grace Lewis, clinical associate professor, and Kelli Shugart, clinical assistant professor. The College also maintains National Student Nurses Association Stellar School Chapter recognition with a 100 percent student body membership. 

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 109-year history, the College has graduated more than 6,800 nurses. Since its founding, the College has been dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in Nursing.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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