As an alumna or alumnus of the Loewenberg School of Nursing, you belong to a special
group. The LSON Alumni Chapter is your connection to the Loewenberg School of Nursing,
the University of Memphis, and the nursing profession. Your membership benefits include:
- U of M Magazine (published quarterly)
- Invitations to alumni events such as the Distinguished Lecture Series, the annual
Nursing Conference, and the Outstanding Alumni Luncheon
- Opportunities to volunteer with students and other alumni
- Opportunities to give back financially
Please visit our Alumni page to learn more about the work of the School of Nursing Alumni Chapter, get important
updates on upcoming alumni events, and keep in touch with your fellow alumni.
If you would like to help chart the course of the Loewenberg School of Nursing Alumni
Chapter, please consider joining the Alumni Chapter Board of Directors. Made up of
alumni and faculty, the board meets regularly to plan events and allocate support
for students and programs.
If you would like to be a part of this important decision-making group, please contact
Shawn Carter, Alumni Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901/678-5016.
Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon
U of M University Center
The Loewenberg School of Nursing Alumni Chapter is pleased to recognize the accomplishments
of our alumni. On April 27th, the LSON Alumni Chapter will honor two outstanding graduates
with its Outstanding Alumni Award.
Dr. Paula Dycus (BSN ’97) and Dr. Paula Spears (BSN ’81) will be recognized for their service and commitment to Nursing and the Memphis
community during a luncheon held in the U of M University Center.
Paula Dycus, BSN 1997
Dr. Paula Dycus has had a varied nursing career since 1977. Dr. Dycus received her
BSN from the University of Memphis 20 years after graduating from Methodist Hospital
School of Nursing. She received her MSN in Nursing Administration from Union University
and Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Tennessee, where she has also
been recognized as an outstanding alumna.
Dr. Dycus’ current position as Administrative Director of Professional Practice and
Research at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital allows her to focus on her passions – improving
the quality of nursing care and improving the work environment for nurses. Prior to
this position, she held a variety of management positions at St. Jude Children’s Research
Hospital and Baptist Memorial Health Care.
She has presented at local, national, and international conferences on the subjects
of quality and patient safety. Dr. Dycus has also published several articles on the
subjects. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality and is a Board Certified
Nurse Executive-Advanced. Dr. Dycus is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, ANA, TNA, AONE,
TONE and the newly formed Mid South chapter of the Society of Pediatric Nurses.
Paula Spears, BSN 1981
Dr. Paula Spears has held various clinical, faculty, and management roles during her
thirty years of professional nursing practice. As the current Executive Director for
the Nursing Institute of the Mid South, Inc. (NIMS), a non-profit organization of
local hospitals and nurse education institutions, Dr. Spears works collaboratively
and strategically with member organizations to facilitate a quality regional nursing
Immediately prior to leading NIMS, Paula served full-time as Corporate Director for
Clinical Practice and Education for Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, TN. In this position,
she coordinated the organization’s deployment of initiatives for the advancement of
professional practice. These initiatives, developed in concert with senior nursing
and patient care leaders, included the development and oversight of the Center for
Nursing Excellence. Under her leadership, the Center received a $1.2 million federal
grant to retain nurses and improve patient care outcomes by enhancing the patient
care delivery system and creating a work environment led by competent nurse leaders
who involve staff in collaborative practice and decision-making.
Dr. Spears completed her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Memphis and
holds Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Science degrees from the
University of Tennessee. She completed her original nursing education at the Methodist
Hospital School of Nursing.
Previous Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients
2009: Mrs. Mary Hammons, BSN ’80 and MSN ‘06
Dr. Jan Young, BSN ’83
2008: Dr. Sam Maceri, BSN ‘99
Dr. Betty Sue McGarvey, BSN ‘85