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Eight inducted in UMFK Nursing Honor Society

April 21, 2006

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Five University of Maine at Fort Kent students and three community leaders were inducted into the UMFK Nursing Honor Society at a recent ceremony on the university campus.

Tina Caron, a senior from Fort Kent; Dawn Clauson an RN, BSN from South Berwick; Ronald Jones, a junior from Woodstock, New Brunswick; Dora Pelkey a senior from Carlingford, New Brunswick and Traci Weatherhead a junior from Limestone, as well as, Lisa Eno, BSN, FNP with Valley Medical; Joanne Fortin, RN, C and Odette Lapointe, RN, BSN with Northern Maine Medical Center have been officially welcomed into the nursing honor society.

Caron assumes many responsibilities on and off campus. During her junior year, she worked in human resources office and the nursing division at UMFK, NMMC and an intern employee for the American Cancer Society. She is a member of numerous nursing committees and she is a senior class representative. Caron has been listed in the 2005 edition of Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Caron's plans are to work in the intensive care unit of an area hospital and to pursue a master's degree in nursing administration and education. Caron is a mother of two and a native of the St. John Valley.

Clauson returned to college to earn her RN-BSN degree from UMFK in the fall of 2004. While completing her BSN, she also obtained certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, as well as a national pediatric nursing certification. In addition, she is married, has seven children, and works 24 hours a week on a pediatric unit. Clauson is an active member of several committees at Wentworth-Douglas Hospital, where she works in New Hampshire. She has just recently been accepted as a first lieutenant in the Air Force Nurse Corp.

Jones's campus activities include tutoring students in Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Finite Math, Statistics, Nutrition and Microbiology. As a work-study student he assists the administrative staff with various activities. Jones is also a member Kappa Delta Phi Fraternity.

Pelkey commutes a distance of about 200 km every day. Dora lives with her husband Mark. They have an 8 year old son, Christian. Dora is torn between choosing to specialize in medical-surgical nursing and psych-mental health nursing.

Weatherhead has done some tutoring and assists the administrative staff with various duties while she a work-study student. She is also on the Lady Bangles basketball team, which indecently made it to nationals this year. Weatherhead hopes to continue her education by pursuing a master's degree as a nurse anesthesiologists or a nurse practitioner.

All students have excelled in the four-year bachelor of science in nursing program at UMFK and are very active in campus activities.

The UMFK Nursing Honor Society was formed in the spring of 1998 for the purpose of recognizing and fostering academic excellence and scholarship among students, alumni, and community leaders in nursing.

Students with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, and who represent the attributes of scholarship as defined by Boyer (1990) and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, are eligible for induction to the Honor Society.

The Honor Society holds two scholarly events each year in an effort to promote nursing scholarship in the St. John Valley and Aroostook County.

The theme of the evening was "Nurses Strength, Commitment, Compassion".

"The eight individuals who were honored at our most recent induction ceremony exemplify the standards of excellence espoused by the UMFK Nursing Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau International," said Jenny Radma, associate professor of nursing. "Their community involvement, professional leadership, as well as the standards of excellence which they strive to attain, are indicative of their commitment to the ideals and purposes of the nursing profession. I'm very proud and privileged to call these inductees my colleagues."

In addition to the induction, the ceremony featured a keynote address by inductee Lisa Eno, who spoke about her vast experiences as a nurse.

Eno earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree at UMFK in 1991. Upon graduation she was employed at NMMC on the medical surgical unit as a staff nurse then transferred to the obstetrical unit in 1993.

She earned her master of science degree in nursing from Husson College in 1997.

Eno has been employed with Valley Medical Association since 1997 as a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She also has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Gynecology and Reproductive Health. Eno provides primary care services at Acadia Family Health in Madawaska.

Eno resides in Fort Kent with her husband Don and two young daughters, Olivia and Mya.

Joanne Fortin and Odette Lapointe were also inducted in the UMFK Nursing Honor Society.

Fortin, a 1975 graduate from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Lewiston, Maine.

Her experience includes various areas of acute care such as medical-surgical /pediatrics, intensive care, emergency room and surgical services.

Other experiences include administrative in nurse manager of medical-surgical/pediatrics and ambulatory Care; infection control practitioner; quality improvement coordinator; licensing and accreditation coordinator; supervisor in long term care and skilled nursing facility at Evergreen Center in Alamosa, Colorado.

Fortin was also interim director of nursing in skilled and long term care at Forest Hill in Fort Kent.

She is an active member and president of Nurse Leaders of Maine (OMNE). Fortin is also a member of the UMFK Foundation and of the UMFK Nursing Advisory Group.

Fortin is currently director of nursing at NMMC.

Lapointe earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing degree at UMFK in 2002.

Upon graduation she was employed at NMMC and worked on the medical surgical unit for one year.

In May of 2003, she transferred to the operating room as a circulating nurse. She is now cross trained in the recovery room, same day surgery, and endoscopy.

Lapointe also works at Forest Hill as charge and treatment nurse and a part time instructor at UMFK for nursing clinicals and labs.

The vision of the UMFK Nursing Honors Society is to establish a Sigma Theta Tao International (STTI) chapter on campus.