UCF Graduate Nursing Student Jervia Fickens was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in a campus ceremony Oct. 15.

The award honors and recognizes Fickens’ achievements as a clinical nurse manager at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., from July 2005 to July 2009.

Fickens was recognized for his managerial ability and personal initiative, including his collaborative work that led to more than 100 infants receiving frenectomies to improve their ability to feed.

Fickens is an active duty Lieutenant in the Navy Nurse Corps. For the 2009 fiscal year, 54 Navy Nurses were given the opportunity to attend graduate school. Fickens is one of only seven Navy Nurses selected nationwide for the Navy’s Duty Under Instructions (DUINS) program, enabling him to complete an adult health clinical nurse specialist program as his active duty assignment.

Fickens selected UCF College of Nursing because of its outstanding reputation and the opportunity to study under Dr. Mary Lou Sole. Fickens is the first member of the Navy Nurse Corps to enroll in the college’s master’s program. Fickens started classes in Fall 2009 and is expected to graduate in Summer 2011 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree as a clinical nurse specialist and a post-master’s certificate as an adult nurse practitioner, making him eligible for board certification in both speciality areas.