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Rebecca, left, and Carrie Sutter, twin sisters and professors in the College of Health and Human Services, were each named Nurse Practitioner of the Year. Rebecca won the award in 2017, while Carrie was recognized in 2016.

Twin Nursing Professors Win Top State Award

Carrie and Rebecca Sutter have a lot in common. They’re identical twins, and they’re both professors in Mason’s School of Nursing. Now, each has won the Virginia Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners awarded the honor to Rebecca Sutter this year; her sister won the same award last year.  But there’s no sibling rivalry here.

“Our relationship is about collaboration, not competition,” Carrie Sutter said.  “When I was awarded last year, it was almost a little difficult to accept the award knowing that she wasn’t given the same recognition; but for her to be recognized this year, it really rounds out the whole experience.”

The sisters say they’re lucky to work together.

“Although we are twins, we have vastly different skill sets, and those skill sets complement each other,” Rebecca Sutter said. “Where I’m weak, Carrie is strong, and where Carrie’s weak, then I’m strong.”

Rebecca has the ability to see things in a larger, more systemic way. She also is able to have the tough conversations and handle conflict well, her sister said.

Carrie is into the details of executing a project, Rebecca Sutter said, and she has a personal, gentler approach to matters.

“The one thing that both Becki and I are very good at is educating,” Carrie Sutter said.

Both said they pride themselves on the work their Mason students can potentially do. They continue to push the envelope, hold their students accountable and make sure they’re working at their highest level, Carrie Sutter said.

“We are meant to be in academics and to train the next generation of health care providers,” Rebecca Sutter said. “It’s that ripple effect, watching the students be able to carry on the work.”

They’re able to teach students in the nurse-managed Mason and Partners Clinics. The clinics are active learning labs for students of all levels and multiple disciplines that serve vulnerable populations in Manassas Park and Fairfax County.

Being twins helps them to do their work more effectively, the sisters said.

They’ve had similar life experiences, which enables them to understand each other’s work habits, decisions and ways of communication. All this allows them to work proficiently and efficiently, the sisters said.

“Carrie and I don’t do this work for recognition; we do this work because we honestly in our hearts feel like this is important work,” Rebecca Sutter said.