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Nursing Administrators: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Marilyn Dubree
Deborah Ariosto | Sabrina Downs | Karen Hughart | Terrell Smith | Erin Tickle
Nancy Wells | Mamie Williams | Chris Wilson

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Executive Chief Nursing Officer
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, is responsible for clinical and professional leadership throughout Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has led robust strategic initiatives in nurse recruitment and retention by creating Be the Best, Keep the Best committees that include Shared Governance and Nurse Wellness; and she has managed development and innovations in staffing and workforce issues. She is also advancing the current VUMC initiative for inpatient documentation and clinical process improvement.

Marilyn joined Vanderbilt in 1976 and has held positions such as Clinical Nurse Specialist, Director of Surgical Nursing and Director of Operational Improvement. She also serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Practice for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Marilyn worked in clinical positions in Kentucky and at the Medical College of Georgia. Marilyn earned her Masters Degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, her Baccalaureate degree from the Medical College of Georgia and her ADN from Western Kentucky University.

Marilyn is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow, a member of the American Nurses Association, Tennessee Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and Sigma Theta Tau.

Deborah Ariosto, PhD, MSN, RN
Director, Nursing Analytics
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Dr. Ariostos focus is on elevating and visualizing the work of nursing to better inform team decision making and patient engagement. If documentation is a reflection of our care, it should show that nurses make a difference! With 8 years in clinical practice and staff education (CCU, OR/L&D, Public Health) and more than 20+ years in developing, planning, and operationalizing clinical information systems, she has a broad perspective on how systems should support patient care. With her mantra of Standardization and Simplification she strives to foster effective processes that can reduce unnecessary documentation, improve electronic care processes and support evidence based practice.

Sabrina Downs, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC
Director, Nursing Professional Practice and Magnet

Sabrina heads up all VUMC efforts regarding Magnet Designation, the gold standard for the recognition of the contributions nurses make to health and quality patient outcomes. She believes this type of recognition elevates nursing as a profession, within Vanderbilt, in our local community and in the global health care field. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience including serving in manager, instructor, case manager, director and associate chief nursing officer roles. She was attracted to VUMC and continues to practice nursing here because of the medical centers environment of continuous learning and diversity.

Karen Hughart, MSN, RN-BC
Senior Director, Nursing Informatics

Karen focuses on training, user implementation, and support while also serving as an advocate on behalf of nursing informatics. She provides consultation to help nursing staff and other clinical personnel who use information systems in VUMC inpatient areas as well as looks for ways to leverage technology to achieve staff satisfaction and quality of care outcomes. She works with nurses who have the skills to help bridge the gap between clinicians and other colleagues with various types of technical expertise. Karen has 15 years of experience as a staff nurse and manager in Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and joined System Support Services in 1999. Originally she expected to work at Vanderbilt for two years or so. Karen celebrated her 35th anniversary at VUMC in May 2012. She says shes learns something new every day.

Terrell Smith
Director, Patient and Family Engagement

Terrell Smith has been the Director of Patient and Family Centered Care for Vanderbilt University Medical Center since 2005. Terrell began her career as a pediatric intensive care unit nurse at The Childrens Hospital of Alabama, and she has served in Brazil as a Peace Corps volunteer nurse. She has held leadership positions at Childrens Hospital of Alabama, and Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. She was at Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital for thirteen years as Administrative Director/Director of Nursing and was one of the leaders during the planning and construction of the Monroe Carrel Jr. Childrens Hospital at Vanderbilt, now a nationally recognized center of excellence. The Monroe Carrel Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is ranked among the nation's leaders in pediatric health care in U.S. News & World Report magazine's Best Children's Hospitals. The hospital achieved rankings in a maximum of 10 out of 10 pediatric specialty programs. During her tenure with the childrens hospital, Mrs. Smith also helped to develop a partnership with the Shalom Foundation to set up medical services for children in Guatemala.

In her current role, Mrs. Smith serves as a thought leader for patient and family engagement and is a national speaker on the subject of patient and family centered care.

Terrell Smith received her diploma at Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, her undergraduate degree at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and her graduate degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Erin Tickle, MMHC, BSN, RN
Director, Shared Governance

Erin Tickle is the Director of Shared Governance for Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nursing. Erin leads the network of more than 80 unit boards representing nurses in the inpatient, outpatient, procedural and perioperative areas. Before joining Vanderbilt in September of 2006, Erin worked as a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at St. Josephs Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Since coming to Vanderbilt, she has served as a staff nurse, charge nurse, and interim assistant manager in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit as well as a relief Administrative Coordinator for the Childrens Hospital prior to entering her current position in March of 2011. Erin has been highly involved in the Shared Governance structure at Vanderbilt, serving as Unit Board Chair and Nursing Staff Council chair. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Arizona and a Masters of Management in Health Care from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt.

Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN, FAAN
Director, Nursing Research

Nancy facilitates nurses use of evidence to improve practice, including identifying problems that may be solved with existing research, analyzing research studies and using this information to implement practice change. She believes that Vanderbilt nurses put the care of their patients first and foremost and in doing so, show a commitment to continue their professional development. Nancy has a rich and varied background in her 30 years of experience. She started as a staff nurse on a surgical unit and became interested in pain management. She held a job appointment from the University of Rochester from 1990 to 1992. Since 1992, she had held joint positions with VUMC and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She likes that the medical center is constantly trying to improve the way it works and embraces change.

Mamie Williams, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC
Director for Safe Patient Handling
Occupational Health Department

Mamie Williams, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC joined the Occupational Health Department as the Director for Safe Patient Handling in October 2012. Mamie has held nursing positions as a staff nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist in both medical and surgical intensive care units. She has a background in patient safety and quality, process improvement, nursing education, and research. Mamie has written policies around issues for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations readiness. Mamie comes to Vanderbilt having most recently worked as the Director of Nursing, Education and Quality for Nashville General Hospital. Mamie successfully implemented improvements in nursing quality standards and indicators while at Nashville General.

Chris WilsonChris Wilson, MSN, RN-BC
Nursing Education and Professional Development
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Chris initially joined Vanderbilt as a new graduate working in Childrens Hospital. In addition to her years in clinical practice, she has also held both management and education positions at Vanderbilt and at other organizations. In her current role as the Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development, Chris leads a team of dedicated professionals who support patient care at Vanderbilt by providing excellent onboarding and ongoing professional development opportunities for Vanderbilt staff.

Chris BSN is from the University of Evansville (IN) and her MSN is from the University of Tennessee in Memphis. She is ANCC certified in Nursing Professional Development. Chris is a member of the American Nurses Association and Tennessee Nurses Associations and is actively involved in the Association for Nursing Professional Development and is currently president elect for that national organization.