The Arkansas Tech University (ATU) RN graduating class of December 2017 recently bestowed their highest honor to Registered Nurse Marrlene (Merle) Vanderboom, nurse director of Saint Mary’s Medical Telemetry Unit.

Every ATU graduating nursing class honors a nurse who demonstrates excellent leadership skills, kindness, compassion, and support for the students. Often this person is a nurse preceptor — a nurse who helps student nurses link theory to the practical in the clinical environment. Serving as both practitioner and educator, a nurse preceptor is instrumental in helping students succeed as they perform clinical rotations. Vanderboom served as a nurse preceptor to many of the nursing students at Saint Mary’s.

“With more than 24 years of nursing experience, Vanderboom is a tremendous asset to Saint Mary’s nurse leadership team,” said Carol Gore, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). “She has extensive experience as an ICU nurse, and served as director of women’s and children’s services prior to coming to Saint Mary’s. We are pleased she has chosen to practice here where she can have a positive influence in the education of these new nurses, helping them to provide excellent patient care.”

Pictured above: From left, Marrlene (Merle) Vanderboom, RN, and Carol Gore, RN, CNO.