By Rosanne Fohn
|Samantha Klinges, RN, (left) who is seeking her Master of Science degree in Nursing, visits with (continuing left to right) Nova Herin, Ginger Baer and David Baer, members of the Jennifer Herin Sylvester family. Click on photos to see a larger view. |
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At a luncheon held Feb. 24, a single mother, a military veteran and a psychiatric nurse seeking higher-level certification thanked donors for their generous support that has allowed them to attend nursing school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
School of Nursing Dean Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, noted that this year, 241 nursing students received a total of $233,744 in scholarships.
“It is inspiring to see our scholarship donors and recipients sitting together today,” she said. “Your connection is very much a partnership, as scholarship support is an investment in a future promise. The students who benefit from your philanthropy will serve as nursing leaders for many years to come. Your investment in these students creates a ripple effect that will touch countless lives.”
Three nursing students were invited to share their stories and publicly thank their scholarship donors for helping them to achieve their dreams in the nursing profession.Young mother expects to complete BSN in December
Alexandra Gillespie, German immigrant and single mother of two children, is earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing through the traditional undergraduate program.
“In 2007, I took care of my former mother-in-law, who had end-stage skin cancer,” she said. “This experience re-sparked my childhood dream to become a nurse. Since I attended school for a photography degree in Germany, I had to start over. I obtained my GED and took my prerequisites at San Antonio College part time.
“Times are difficult for me since my divorce two years ago. I almost had to stop my schooling. It is through the generosity of organizations like yours that allow me to finish my education to provide my children and me with a better future,” said Gillespie, who receives a scholarship through the Armstrong Family Charitable Foundation Fund.
“I am really looking forward to finally graduating in December after this six-year-long journey,” said Gillespie, who is involved in the Juntos Podemos
mentoring program and is a member of the American Nurses Association and the National Student Nurses Association.
Pediatric ICU nurse is earning his master’s degree
|(Left to right) Master’s degree student Sam Lucio, RN, is shown with School of Nursing Dean Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Regina Reed, Ph.D. student Charles Reed, M.S.N., RN, CNRN, and donor Barbara Wulfe. |
After working as a laboratory technician in the Army, Sam Lucio, RN, earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Health Science Center through the GI Bill.
He is now seeking a master’s degree with the help of a Baptist Health Foundation Scholarship and a Patricia E. Miller Reed, Lois Ann Miller Cole, Jane June Miller, Warren “Butch” Miller, and Wanda E. Reed Endowed Nursing Scholarship, also known as the Patricia Miller Reed Nursing Scholarship.
A pediatric ICU nurse at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Lucio said, “I became a nurse to help as many people as possible. By completing my M.S.N. and becoming a family nurse practitioner, I am gaining further knowledge to increase my delivery of primary care. I also feel the opportunities here will help me immensely in preparing interventions that may make health care more attainable for my patients.”
“When I made the decision to further my education I realized it would be expensive and that certain sacrifices would have to be made. Because of these scholarships, my family has been spared the effects of these sacrifices,” he said. Psychiatric nurse practitioner wants to help families and children
Jane Nichilo, M.S.N., RN, a master’s-prepared child and family psychiatric nurse, is working on her Family Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate at the Health Science Center.
“Receiving the Patricia Miller Reed Nursing Scholarship has greatly confirmed the support I needed in order to permanently transition my family and my career to San Antonio from Chicago,” Nichilo said.
Nichilo said she chose San Antonio in order to help fill the need for mental health practitioners in South Texas. “I have a particular interest in helping families and their children receive appropriate services, diagnoses and treatment while advocating for their needs as they make their way through an often overwhelming processes,” she said.
“Receiving this scholarship allowed me to advance my practice as a psychiatric nurse,” Nichilo said. “As I progress to the level of a service provider, I look forward to having increased influence on treatment protocols, program development and public policy advancement.”