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Bethel celebrates graduation of first RN-to-BSN cohort

July 24th, 2018

Robert Milliman presents a diploma to Jane Smith.

Bethel College’s first-ever class of degree completion students, in nursing’s RN-to-BSN program, held their own commencement June 26.

Twenty-four of the 33 graduates were present for the event, held at the Overland Park (Kansas) Convention Center.

The speaker was Teresa Collins, who recently became chief nursing officer (CNO) at St. Luke’s Hospital in Overland Park, after serving four years as CNO at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

“She talked about the importance of continuing nursing education,” said Geri Tyrell, who directs Bethel’s department of nursing, “in that it is for the betterment of patient outcomes, and about believing in [yourself].

“She said that learning does not end, and we have a professional duty to continue our journey of learning.”

Tyrell also recognized Jane Smith of Shawnee Mission for her acceptance into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing.

Robert Milliman, Ph.D., Bethel vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, awarded the degrees. There was also a pinning ceremony, similar to that held for BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates on campus each spring.

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Tyrell, are Connie Jacob, assistant professor of nursing; Johanna Jones, adjunct clinical instructor; Michelle Lamp, instructor of nursing; Sheila Landis, assistant professor of nursing; Sarah Masem, associate professor of nursing; Jeri Melin, adjunct clinical instructor; and Miranda Snyder, adjunct clinical instructor.

The RN-to-BSN graduates were Danielle Asher, Bonner Springs; Megan Baethke, Eudora; Mayra Brooks, Salina; Christine Byrd, Salina; Timothy Conaway, Shawnee Mission; Kathleen Curry, Eudora; Jessica Dayton, Shawnee Mission; Hailey DeBrecht, Shawnee Mission; Kimberly Drusch, Olathe; Ashly Doering, Shawnee Mission; AJ Glaze, Shawnee Mission; Barbara Gruenenfelder, Olathe; Amanda Hennier, Peculiar, Missouri; Geoff Hutcheson, Spring Hill; Eileen Inscore, Osawatomie; Tiffany Jaklevich, Spring Hill; Rachel Jones, Shawnee Mission; Nathan Knight, Wichita; Angela Lees, Pleasant Hill, Missouri; Lori Moody, Shawnee Mission; Melinda Nowak, Shawnee Mission; Melissa Pacetti, Blue Springs, Missouri; Gayle Pryor, Pleasant Hill, Missouri; Kimberly Seiner, Grain Valley, Missouri; Kenitra Showalter, Kansas City, Kansas; Jane Smith, Shawnee Mission; Brittany Spencer, Paola; Sheri Stever, Pleasant Hill, Missouri; Justin Stumpenhaus, Grain Valley, Missouri; Chelsey Thompson, Olathe; Pamela Tremblay, Concordia; Mary Heather Vernon, Shawnee Mission; and Amanda Walker, Salina.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.