RWJF Scholars Passionate About Helping Others

By Katy Ward
February 6, 2014
RWJF Scholars Passionate About Helping Others

A healthcare career helping others and a strong desire for meaningful patient interaction are two things the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Scholars at MNU have in common. All four are students in the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) and are recipients of RWJF’s New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship program. The scholarship program is for students from populations that are typically underrepresented in nursing, based on gender or ethnicity

The third thing they have in common is high academic achievement.

“I’m proud of the high caliber of students we attract at MNU,” said Deborah Highfill, associate dean of Prelicensure Nursing Education and NCIN coordinator. “This year’s scholarship recipients are entering nursing to make a difference in the world. Whether from an Ivy League school or a nearby university, these students bring diversity and richness to the learning experience for fellow students and professors alike. It’s a joy to watch them progress into nursing professionals.”

2013 NCIN Recipients

Lauren Goh, a 2013 Harvard graduate with a bachelor’s in biology, realized that she wanted to become a nurse after shadowing a variety of doctors and nurses upon completing her degree.

“I started looking at different doctors and their lives. I just realized I didn’t like their lifestyle,” Goh commented, “I’m a very family oriented person and I wanted to have time to be with family.”

Another recipient, Justin Johng, realized that he wanted to become a nurse after shadowing his uncle who is a doctor.

“I really enjoy the patient interaction,” said Johng. “Most doctors usually get only seven or eight minutes with their patients before they have to move on. I like being able to spend more time with the patients and being more social with them.” RWJF Scholars Passionate About Helping Others2013 RWJF Scholars: Allison Mitchell, Johnathan Knipker, Justin Johng and Lauren Goh.

Jonathan Knipker, thought he wanted to become a pharmacist. Shortly after graduating from MNU with a bachelor’s degree he realized that pharmacy was not what he wanted to do. Taking a few years to work and redefine his goals he decided that obtaining a BSN was the career route for him. It also didn’t hurt that his grandmother had been a nurse and encouraged that option.

“I have friends that have gone through the traditional and the accelerated nursing programs, and they all really liked it. And MNU has a really good nursing program. That’s where I got my undergraduate degree, so it was the first choice on my list,” Knipker commented. 

Allison Mitchel says the science of nursing along with the human touch has always appealed to her, and her mother, who is also a nurse, encouraged her to pursue the career.

“I love the science behind nursing and I feel nursing will always bring exciting challenges,” she commented. “My mother has been such an incredible inspiration. Her patients have been very grateful for her work and I admire her ability to care for others.”

Not only are these top scholars plan pursuing degrees in nursing, they each have a passion to help others.

“I want to use my career to help people, like volunteering in the community and being active in my church,” said Johng.

Goh said that she likes the holistic approach to healthcare and wellness.

“I like that nurses are more hands-on, dealing with the person. The practice is focused more toward the patients than the illness,” said Goh.

Mitchell plans to use nursing to help those abroad that are in need to good health care. Volunteering overseas with Engineers Without Borders is what helped spark her dream of being a nurse.

“I realized there is a great need in the world for health education and improved public health initiatives,” said Mitchell. “Nursing will allow me to work with those in need. It will challenge me to grow and learn from others, as well as to be a leader and teacher to my patients. I look forward to waking up every day knowing I can be of use to those who are in need.”

RWJF and NCIN

The NCIN scholarships are part of $100,000 of funding MNU received this year from RWJF. Each student receives $10,000 to assist them in completing a BSN in the one-year accelerated program which is designed for the LPN, paramedic, or adult student with previous college experience.

RWJF’s New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN) was established to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s program. The NCIN program has supported 40 other students in five years at MNU, in an effort to develop culturally competent nurses and future leaders of the profession.

These students represent many others who are retooling for a career in nursing through MNU’s ABSN program. For more information on the ABSN click here. For information on the NCIN scholarship program click here.