Marilyn Rinker named Nurse of the Year

The Vermont State Nurses' Association (VSNA) named Marilyn Rinker - Director of Norwich University's Nursing Program - 2005 Nurse of the Year at their annual convention, held October 26 & 27 at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. Rinker has been the director of the program for six years.

Prof. Rinker

The Norwich Nursing program was started in 1961 as an Associate Degree Program, and an RN to BSN program was added in 1978. Norwich graduated its first four-year BSN students in May of 1999.

The VSNA has been the voice of Vermont Registered Nurses since 1914. Through the VSNA, registered nurses can be involved in the decisions that allow them to practice the profession of nursing and work on issues that deal with health care, practice, workplace legislation, practice standards and ethics, and occupational health and safety.

"Marilyn has had a very rich and diverse career in nursing and truly represents the best of our profession," said Peggy Sharpe, Executive Director of the VSNA. "She has excelled in nursing service, nursing management and nursing education."

Sharpe said that the VSNA works to improve the health standards and availability of health care services for all people, foster high standards of nursing, and stimulate and promote the processional development of nurses in the state. The VSNA also strives to advance the economic and general welfare of nurses and to serve Vermont nurses as the constituent of the American Nurses Association.

Rinker received a RN Diploma from Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT, a BS in Education from UVM, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. Her involvement in the field of nursing includes serving as chairperson of the Legislative Advocacy Committee for the American Cancer Society, and testifying on nursing and oncology matters at the Vermont State House. Rinker is also president-elect for the Vermont Organization for Nurse Leaders.

"I was most honored to receive the Nurse of the Year award," Rinker said. "I really value being a nurse and promoting nursing in Vermont."