With the growing demand for employees in the medical field, students everywhere are choosing to do what it takes to become a nurse. Five students have chosen to continue their studies at Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing with the help of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholarship.
Jessica Blume, Eli Falk, Amy Frankel, Jacob Prinz and Peter Sunderland have all joined the Linfield’s accelerated nursing program after graduating from other institutions and will graduate in 2013.
The five winners were recognized by the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship program. The program supports nursing students who are traditionally underrepresented in the health care industry and pursuing a second career in nursing. It helps train and support nurses who are culturally competent.
With a focus on cultural competence, both Frankel and Sunderland spoke about their definition of the term.
“Cultural competence is being aware that every client I serve lives within the context of his or her culture,” Frankel said. “Learning about cultures and developing the skills to provide culturally competent care is a never-ending process. Most importantly, I have the desire to always learn more.”
While Frankel’s definition of cultural competence focuses on the ongoing learning process, Sunderland defines it as “[the] obligation to not only understand the needs of various cultures, but also look at [his] own values and beliefs and make sure [he is] accepting of the values and beliefs of other cultures, allowing them an equal opportunity to receive quality care.”
The RWJF prides themselves in their mission to “improve the health and health care of all Americans” and “to help [American] society transform itself for the better,” according to its website.
With the backing of the RWJF, each student was awarded $10,000 and will receive mentoring and participate in a pre-entry immersion program and leadership program.
With the winners thinking toward their futures, they reflected on where they’ve been and where they are going.
Frankel previously graduated from New York University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre.
“The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship awards students enrolled in accelerated baccalaureate nursing programs in order to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase diversity in the nursing field,” Frankel said. “My GPA from my pre-requisite studies, personal insight essays and half-Israeli/half-American ethnic background may have played a part in my receiving of this award.”
Sunderland was awarded the scholarship after receiving a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he graduated in 2002, and completing his prerequisites at Portland Community College.
“I plan on continuing my education at another university, ultimately seeking a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner—Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree,” Sunderland said. “I would like to work to decrease the stigmas surrounding mental health and offer services to the severely underserved populations in rural areas.”
Frankel said she isn’t quite sure what the future holds for her, but has an idea of what she wants to do after graduation.
“ I have an interest in combining my musical theatre background with my nursing skills,” Frankel said. “I’m currently pursuing teacher-training for an organization called Dance for Parkinson’s Disease. This organization offers dance classes around the world to people suffering from Parkinson’s. I’ve been approached by the Portland branch of this organization about becoming a certified dance teacher for them.”
Blume, Falk and Prinz could not be reached for an interview, but also received RWJF scholarships.