Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 ExceptionalNurse.com scholarships awarded to nursing students with disabilities

Nursing students with a wide range of disabilities are increasing in number every year. Disabilities may include hearing loss, low vision, learning disabilities, limb differences, paralysis, mental illness and chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and movement disorders.

Financing an education can be a challenge for some students with disabilities. In addition to routine expenses (tuition, room and board, books, uniforms, transportation), some students may need to purchase an amplified or electronic stethoscope, computer software programs, or audio books—as well as medications, hearing aids, therapies, prostheses, special equipment or custom alterations to uniforms and lab coats. Working a part-time job may not be possible.

Scholarships are available from ExceptionalNurse.com, a nonprofit resource network for nursing students and nurses with disabilities. The organization provides links to disability-related organizations, technology, equipment, financial aid, employment opportunities, mentors, blogs, continuing education, a speaker’s bureau, legal resources, social media, research and related articles.

The organization has been awarding scholarships to nursing students with disabilities since 2003. The awards are based on academic performance, letters of recommendation, financial need and an essay which answers the questions: “How do you plan to contribute to the nursing profession? How will your disability influence your practice as a nurse”? The awards range from $250.00-$500.00.

ExceptionalNurse.com is honored to announce the winners for 2015!!!

Kirbi Arnold from Valdosta, Georgia will be attending Valdosta State University in Georgia.

Kirbi wrote, “It wasn’t until my third year of elementary school that I had to face another surgery….This is when I discovered I wanted to be a nurse. The nurses that took care of me were so patient and kind. I could tell they really cared about me. They took time to explain to a 10 year old child what they were doing and why they were doing it”.

Angela Stuive from Byron Center, Michigan is attending the RN to BSN program at Michigan State University.

Angela wrote, “I was also scared. Could I do it? Will the professors think I can do it? Will people accept me? Will patients accept me as a competent nurse? Despite my fear, I jumped in. I sailed through both my classroom and clinical courses with excellent grades and multiple semesters on the Dean’s list….I had to take a lot of extra time in the lab practicing and figuring out how to do things like give injections and take blood pressures with one hand. I pressed on and graduated with my LPN”.

Katelyn Simmons from Byron, New York will be attending St. John Fisher College in New York.

Katelyn wrote, “I believe the journey of navigating through my own disability will serve as excellent experience to help me to provide superior emotional support, and empathy for others as they cope with disease, injuries, and disabilities of their own....I will never forget these lessons I have learned from my own struggles, and will do my very best to “pay forward” all the wonderful patience and support that I have received from medical professionals over the years”.   

Congratulations and best wishes to all!!!

The ExceptionalNurse.com scholarship awards are funded through donations, grants and proceeds from book sales of “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities”, “Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disabilities” and “Nursing students with disabilities change the course”. To make a donation, please visit www.ExceptionalNurse.com.

The scholarship application can be downloaded at http://www.exceptionalnurse.com/pdf/exnurse-scholarship08.pdf

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