The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) welcomed Ferren Pannell as its new manager for the Center of Nursing Excellence on Jan. 10. Her predecessor, Ann Bishop, retired in December after leading the CNE for seven years.

“We are pleased to have Ferren join our Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE) team. Her wealth of experience, energy and professionalism will add to the already wonderful team of professionals in the CNE,” said Amy Cole, director of student partner and advancement.

Pannell was raised in Halifax County and is a graduate of Halifax County High School. After graduation, she joined the United States Air Force and was stationed across the United States and the world as an aviation resource manager. She retired in 2008 as a staff sergeant. 

After separating from the military, Pannell pursued a career in nursing, completing the RN diploma program at Danville Regional School of Nursing. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Chamberlin University and a master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in public health from Grand Canyon University. 

“I want to inspire people from all backgrounds to challenge themselves to pursue things outside their comfort zone,” said Pannell. “The reward of trying new things is priceless. I had a great support system as a new nurse to include instructors, family and preceptors, and I want to provide that support system to aspiring nurses and students,” she continued.

Pannell brings a broad range of nursing experiences to the position including intensive care and primary care. She most recently served as primary care assistant nurse manager for Veterans Health Administration in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 2018, the Center of Nursing Excellence celebrated its 10-year anniversary. With her wealth of knowledge and expertise, Pannell was the ideal candidate to lead the CNE into its next decade of operation, SVHEC officials agreed.

For more information about the Center of Nursing Excellence, visit www.nursingishere.com.