Friday, July 22, 2016

Nursing students with disabilities awarded scholarships for 2016

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, 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 groups, 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-$750.00. is honored to announce the winners for 2016!!!
Alexa Jo Palmer from Philadelphia, PA will be attending Widener University in Pennsylvania.

Alexa Jo wrote,  "I took a diagnosis that would usually be negative and made it into something positive. During my short time at the hospital, my nurses and doctors provided me with such great care that I realized I wanted to go to college to become a nurse".

Kayla Connelly from Clackamas, Oregon will be attending the University of Portland in Oregon. 

Kayla wrote, "I want to become a nurse because they are the ones who provide the most hands-on care to patients. They are there to hold your hand in the worst of times, and they are there to cheer you on in the best of times. I experienced this from the nurses who have taken care of me throughout my life. I hope one day that I will be the nurse who is just as compassionate, dedicated and knowledgeable as they are."

Deborah Burgess from Gorham, Maine is a nursing student at St. Joseph's College in Maine.

Deborah stated, "My personal life experiences have made me understand what it is like to be in someone else's shoes. I am able to be the nurse that is my patients shoulder to cry on, ear to listen and hand to hold.....Working with the elderly is my passion. It takes a certain amount of patience, caring and providing dignity and respect to work with them."

Reanna Somkhan from Andover, Minnesota will be attending nursing school at Winona State University in Minnesota.

Reanna wrote, "My dream has always been to work at Children's Hospital...... I want to be there for the children and families that are just beginning their journey. I can provide compassionate care as I know what they are experiencing. I hope to provide encouragement to the parents as I share my success story with them."

Congratulations and best wishes to all!!!

The 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

The scholarship application can be downloaded at

Appreciate your support!


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