Vaughan issues scholarships

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Four nursing students recently received scholarships from Vaughan Regional Medical Center as part of a larger hospital program to meet a continuing nursing shortage.

Each of the scholarships is for $1,000 per semester and is renewable as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree.

The student is obligated to begin his or her employment at Vaughan and to remain for at least one year.

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According to Martha Micallef, chief nursing officer, the scholarships come out of the hospital’s regular budget, and Vaughan has set no limit on the number to be offered.

Through aggressive recruiting and bonuses offered, Micallef reported that this year Vaughan recruited 12 Wallace Community College graduates, adding that the Vaughan Regional Medical Center Healthcare Scholarship is another tool being utilized to secure nurses.

Micallef noted that nursing supply is constant, but demand for nursing services increasing, hence the need for a multifaceted recruiting effort.

The four recipients of the scholarships are Dowanda Pullom, Erica Sturdivant, Benjamin Stewart and Kevin O’Shields.

Dowanda Pullom, LPN, is employed by Vaughan in the medical/surgical unit and plans to begin the nursing course at Wallace in January 2005. A graduate of Concordia College in business administration, her eventual goal is to earn both the BSN and MSN degrees.

Erica Sturdivant, a 2004 gradate of Selma High School, is a first-year student at the University of Alabama. Her goal is to earn both the BSN and the MSN degrees.

Benjamin Stewart, an anesthesia assistant on the Vaughan staff, is a 2001 graduate of Morgan Academy who attended Wallace for one year after graduation. He plans to continue his studies at the University of South Alabama, following completion of the nursing program at Wallace in which he will be enrolled this fall. He hopes, in time, to earn both the BSN and the MSN degrees.

Kevin O’Shields, a 1999 graduate of Dallas County High School, works at Bodybuilders but wants to move into nursing. He will use his scholarship to enter the RN program at Wallace, attend Auburn University, Montgomery, for the BSN degree and possibly work toward an MSN degree later.

Vaughan CEO Steve Mann who was present for the ceremony in the Medical Office Tower Executive Conference Room last Thursday praised the recipients. “We appreciate your initiative and commitment,” he said.

Also present was Al Perry, Vaughan human resources director, who said, “Thanks for your commitment and we will help you get there (reach your goal), and for your commitment to us (Vaughan) at the end of your program.”