Welcome to the Exceptional Nurse Blog! I am Donna Maheady, EdD, ARNP, founder of www.ExceptionalNurse.com, the nonprofit resource committed to inclusion of people with disabilities in nursing. We facilitate inclusion of students with disabilities in nursing education programs and foster resilience and continued practice for nurses who are, or become, disabled. We celebrate abilities, share resources and examples of nurses with disabilities who work with and without accommodations.
Congratulations to the 2021 Exceptional Nurse Scholarship Winners!
Nursing students with disabilities continue to increase in number. Disabilities may include hearing loss, low vision, learning disabilities, limb differences, paralysis, mental illness, autism, chronic illnesses and 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), 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, speakers, 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”? Due to support from many sources, we were able to award two $500.00 scholarships.
ExceptionalNurse.com is honored to announce the winners for 2021!!!
Abigail Buker from Ewing, New Jersey will be attending the College of New Jersey. In her essay she wrote, "Having the same disability as my patients will create a connection further than just the nurse-patient relationship, but to have a nurse that has had and is currently living with the same disease will allow for a closer connection to be built."
Erica Flowers from Andover, Massachusetts will be attending the University of South Carolina. In her essay, she stated, "Long before a disease changed my life, I wanted to work in a hospital setting...In middle school rather than birthday presents I always asked for donations to Boston Children's Hospital. Ironically, in 2018 I landed in that same hospital, this time as a patient....Now I want to take these experiences and give back."
Congratulations and best wishes to all!!
The ExceptionalNurse.com scholarship awards are funded through donations, small 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”, “Nursing students with disabilities change the course” and the coloring book "I am a nurse: Color Me Exceptional! To make a donation or access the application, please visit www.ExceptionalNurse.com.