Nurse training spawns many career paths

(St. Louis American) Compassion for an unlikely character prompted St. Louis native Barbara Harris to want to become a nurse. It was a young and insolent tormentor.

“In elementary school, I witnessed a classmate faint in the middle of a fire drill, and this particular classmate was my childhood bully, and even though she was not nice to me, I would still be concerned for her well-being and always follow up with my classmate, if she was doing well,” Harris said. “Later, I found out my classmate had epilepsy, and that was the cause of the fainting or seizures.”

The Theodore Roosevelt High School graduate is in her sophomore year at Prairie View A & M University outside of Houston and is interested in working in neonatal care or becoming a travel nurse.

“After graduation, my professional goal is to gain two years of experience working for a hospital or a private clinic, within two to three years I would love to return to school to complete my doctorate specializing in a type of nursing,” she said.

Harris is a Deaconess nursing scholar. The Deaconess Scholarship collaboration between The Deaconess Foundation, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and The St. Louis American Foundation provides financial support to selected students in nursing school with the overall goal of increasing the nursing pool in the St. Louis area.

“The Deaconess Scholarship has helped me pay for the opportunity to explore pursing an education away from my comfort zone (home) and learn to explore what is outside of the box,” Harris said. “I can attend college without the financial worries, but genuinely enjoy the opportunity to learn independently away from home, standing on my own two feet.”

After graduation, Harris said she would love to work in a professional environment with great standards for both the patients and staff.

“A work place with great credibility for treating and caring for the patients with passion- is a place I would fit right in,” she described.

“In five to ten years, I see myself with financial and job stability, personal stability-own home, maybe married, and still learning because knowledge has no end.”

“My experience is that the field of nursing has so many different paths you can explore, forensics, law, surgery, and many more. It’s a field that you can take and run with it, anywhere!”

The Deaconess Foundation Nursing Scholarship will be awarded to 10-15 students annually (avg. award $6,000). Students must be permanent residents of the St. Louis metropolitan area and pursuing nursing (RN, BSN) at an accredited, nonprofit school. Awards are based on financial need, strength of character, and academic potential.

All correspondence will be communicated by email, so it is important to have a valid email address when you start the application.

To apply, students must complete the two applications by April 15: the Deaconess Foundation Nursing Scholarship and The Scholarship Foundation Interest-Free Loan in Scholarship Central at www.sfstl.org.

Students selected to receive the Deaconess scholarship may also be given an opportunity to accept or decline an interest-free loan or other grants through SFSTL.

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