Nursing luncheon honors alumni mentors and students

Strong mentors build strong proteges, and ultimately gift us with the leaders of tomorrow.

A powerhouse of nursing leadership

Mount Mercy’s nursing program is known for the tight connections and pool of resources it offers current nursing students. Last April, yet another example was brought to life as students and nursing alumni alike celebrated their connections during an Alumni Mentor Luncheon on April 21.

With such a strong local base of nursing alumni, the nursing department and alumni office quickly developed an idea to mold experienced alumni with senior nursing students, introducing them to strong mentors who would be willing to help them navigate a nursing career and launch them into a successful partnership.

More than 60 students and 60 alumni attended the luncheon, which introduced successful nurses to promising

g student leaders and included an amazing array of medical talent that spanned several healthcare leaders in the area.

The leaders in healthcare at St. Luke’s Hospital, Mercy Medical Center and UnitedHealth Group are all Mount Mercy alumnae, and epitomized the level of success that can be reached with a Mount Mercy degree.

Special guests included Dawn Bazarko ’85, senior vice president for Clinical Innovation at United Health Group, who served as the keynote speaker; Beth Houlahan ’77, former senior vice president of patient care services at Mercy Medical Center and now serving at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics; Mary Ann Osborn ’76, vice president and chief clinical officer at St. Luke’s Hospital; Dawn Oxley ‘81, associate director and nurse executive at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City; and Sister James Marie Donahue ’59, president of Mercy Medical Center Foundation.

“I think the event was important for students to learn that they are on a life-long journey of education for themselves and for others that they may mentor,” says Nursing Department Chair Mary Tarbox, Ed.D., who was instrumental in organizing the event. “It was an excellent opportunity for alumni to meet each other and give back to Mount Mercy in a very important way. Their expertise and knowledge continues to support the  nursing education program.”