Rayburn receives 2015 Novosel Award for distinguished nursing alumni

October 14, 2015

Virginia L. (Smith) Rayburn, 1973, of Grove City, Ohio, was selected to receive the 2015 Shirley Novosel Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society at the College of Nursing’s fifth annual Homecoming brunch on Oct. 11.

Established in 1996 in memory of Shirley Novosel, a past president of the Penn State Nursing Alumni APG (Affiliate Program Group), the Novosel Award is presented annually to an alumnus/alumna who exemplifies the spirit of nursing and the College of Nursing’s ideals and philosophy. Candidates must be currently active in the nursing profession and demonstrate a caring, professional style and a commitment to the profession.

Rayburn is associate director of patient care services at Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center (VAACC) in Columbus, Ohio. A 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corps, Rayburn draws on both her military and nursing experience to fulfill her duties as a member of the VAACC’s executive leadership team.

“(Virginia is) very supportive and truly leads by example,” said Susan Whipp-Schwarz, a nurse recruiter for the VAACC. “She knows how to instill a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment (in) the nursing staff.”

“Ginny … is focused and committed to the establishment of care processes that are evidence based, safe and customer centered,” added Susan B. Tappan Williams, associate chief nurse at the VAACC. “(She) believes every patient experience should be an excellent experience based on a good relationship with the care team.”

Rayburn began her career with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2005 as a staff nurse in home-based primary care at the VAACC. Previously, she held managerial and educational positions in private health care systems as well as governmental health departments and agencies. She began her nursing career with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and, upon discharge from active duty, served with the Army Reserve, from which she retired in 2001 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In addition to a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Penn State, Rayburn holds a master of science degree in nursing from Capital University in Columbus.

Last Updated October 19, 2015