Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 Exceptional Nurse Scholarship Winners!

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, autism 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 this year were $500.00. is honored to announce the winners for 2018!!!
Asia Werner from West Chester, Ohio will be attending the University of Cincinnati's College of Nursing.

Asia wrote, "My hope and desire is to be able to provide the comfort and calm to patients that my nurses provided to me. I want to be able to use my outgoing personality to help make their stays and visits pleasant and even a little fun."

Sydney Belcher is from McDonough, Georgia and will be attending Georgia State University.

Sydney stated, "Children with chronic illnesses often face isolation from their peers and have trouble incorporating their disease into their lives. As a nurse, I will be an advocate for programs and activities for chronically ill children such as hospital school programs, camps and retreats that will improve children's attitudes and increase their self-esteem so they can accomplish goals. Programs such as these also provide a sense of normalcy, which promotes strength, and give children hope for the future."

Charlotte Hepler from Arlington, Virginia is attending the nursing program at Marymount University in Virginia..

Charlotte wrote, "my disability......allows me to approach my patients, especially those with mental illness, with an extra level of empathy and understanding elevating my skills as a nurse...I am able to read a patient's body language to interpret their emotional status and pain in a level which many of my peers are unable to fully recognize...... I view serving others through nursing as the mission of my life's work."

Brooke Rennie is from Red Oak, Texas and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin. 

Brooke stated, "patients don't come in one size fit all packages and neither do nurses. I can use my experiences to relate better to my patients....I know that each of us is unique and I also know that I can bring my unique qualities and gift to the nursing profession."

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!