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