Thomas Edison State University (TESU) nursing student, Stephanie Jean of Sicklerville, New Jersey, recently received the Nurse Corps Scholarship form the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The scholarship will help secure her pathway into nursing.

“It is such an honor to have been selected,” said Jean, student at the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing. “The HRSA scholarship pays the full tuition for my Accelerated BSN Program as well as books and learning materials needed for my courses. The scholarship also supports me with a monthly stipend, which helps tremendously since I left a full-time job to concentrate on the demands of the nursing program.”

As part of her scholarship agreement, Jean must commit to serving at an eligible facility with a critical shortage of nurses – or Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) – once she completes the Accelerated BSN Program and passes the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The steady round of online course work, lectures and on-ground clinical experiences are now strategically balanced by the busy mother of two daughters Amy, age 7 and Aria, age 32 months. Aria battles a rare chromosomal condition, 18q23, often requiring 24-hour vigilance on the part of the caregiver. Despite her busy life, Jean eagerly pushes to help others.

“During my years in retail I always knew in my heart that there was more I wanted to do to help others directly,” said Jean. When she applied to the Accelerated BSN Program she already possessed a bachelor’s degree in social work and 10 years of retail management experience.

According to TESU, Jean said she literally jumped for joy after learning that she had been accepted into the nursing program. She was equally as elated to hear that she had been chosen as a HRSA scholarship recipient part of the way through the program. The Nurse Corps Scholarship is highly competitive. Within the national applicant pool, only 200 new and continuation awards are expected during the 2020-2021 academic year according to the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Guide.

“We are immensely proud of Stephanie for earning the HRSA Nurse Corps Scholarship and pleased that she will have the opportunity to provide quality nursing care to underserved communities and facilities that need it the most,” said Dr. Filomela “Phyllis” Marshall, dean of the university’s W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing. “We’re gratified that the comprehensiveness of the award will eliminate many of the financial burdens associated with her degree pursuit and the selectiveness of the program underscores her distinction among the vast pool of nursing students across the U.S. who compete for the funding.”

As both a student and a mother, Jean continues to stay inspired by nurses in the medical field as she reaches her ultimate goal. She said, “From the neonatal intensive care unit personnel and home healthcare nurses that continue to provide care to my daughter, to the nurses I work side-by-side with while fulfilling clinical experience requirements as a student, I remain incredibly inspired by them and the profession.”