2015 – 2016 Graduate Nursing Scholarship Winners

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Mission, Vision And Values Of The Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.


To promote leadership through scholarship support for professional nurses seeking  masters and doctoral degrees in nursing education, practice, service and research.


To be the national leader in providing graduate funds for nurse leaders in education, practice, service and research.


Excellence, Scholarship, Diversity, Stewardship

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.

Nurses Educational Funds Board Member and Living Legend Hattie Bessent, EdD, MSN, RN, FAAN, Remembered

Adapted from the American Academy of Nursing In Memoriam:

Dr. Hattie Bessent, EdD, MSN, RN, FAAN, and Nurses Educational Funds Board Member, died on October 31, 2015. Dr. Bessent's work focused on leadership development with a particular emphasis on the preparation of minority nurses as researchers and faculty members. From 1977 through 1991, she served as deputy executive director of the American Nurses Association's Ethnic and Racial Minority Fellowship Programs where she assisted more than 225 nurses from Asian, Black, Native American, and Hispanic backgrounds to receive doctoral training in the behavioral sciences and in psychiatric nursing programs.

Dr. Bessent served on commissions for mental health at the White House under every president from the Eisenhower Administration to President George H. W Bush. Hawaiian Senator Inouye, at the 102nd Congress Proceedings and Debates Session, paid tribute to Dr. Bessent in the Congressional Record for her work with minorities and for placing minority interns on Capital Hill.

She successfully obtained millions of dollars from the National Institute of Mental Health and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for training purposes. Not only did these monies encourage collaboration between historically black colleges and majority nursing schools, but she designed Project Leadership Advancement and Development (Project LEAD) to strengthen the leadership capacity of minority nurses who had already assumed positions as executives in schools of nursing.

Dr. Bessent was a passionate trailblazer for advancing the voice, visibility, and impact of minority colleagues and students in the fields of mental health and substance abuse nursing, and her efforts have enriched and diversified the profession.

Hear From Our Scholars

Nursing Scholarships for Graduate Education

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. (NEF) is a not-for-profit organization which seeks and distributes funds to baccalaureate prepared registered nurses who are in need of nursing scholarship assistance for graduate study. NEF is administered by a Board of Directors comprised of prominent leaders in nursing, business, and other professions. Nurses comprise the majority of board members.

NEF has been in existence for over 100 years! It was in 1912 that the first two Isabel Hampton Robb scholarships were awarded to two nurses, Cecelia Evans and Lisle French. From then on NEF has continued to support nursing professionals motivated to seek graduate degrees. With the support of those who value the critical need for:

  • nursing educators
  • advanced nurse clinicians
  • nurse researchers

NEF, the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced study in nursing will continue with this work for the next 100 years!

Support a Graduate Nurse's Education With a Donation To Nurses Educational Funds, Inc

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc, encourages all those who have ever been grateful for the care, commitment, and dedication of a nurse, to donate today to the Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. an organization solely devoted to raising money to support graduate nursing education.

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News and Updates

Thelma Schorr Society Luncheon at the Lotos Club on September 30, 2015

Board Members in the News

Dr. Roy Simpson, NEF Board Member, Vice President for Cerner and a clinical professor with Emory University, has won the 2015 Virginia K. Saba Informatics Nursing Leadership Award from Sigma Theta Tau. The award honors an individual for innovative work in the field of nursing informatics whose work has resulted in sustained contributions, significant development of the discipline and achieved a recognizable public benefit.

Rosanne Raso
NEF Secretary, Editor – In - Chief of the Journal of Nursing Management, and NYU Lutheran Chief Integration Officer, delivered remarks entitled “Pearls of Wisdom from the Editor's Desk” at the annual President's Dinner Reception of the Greater New York Nassau Suffolk Organization of Nurse Executives (GNYNSONE) on May 11, 2015.

Kathy Dirschel
Chairperson of the NEF Public Relations Committee and past NEF President, spoke on the Brotherhood of Nursing at the Bellevue Hospital for their Nurses Week celebration in May. Dr. Dirschel’s presentation emphasized the power of the deep abiding type of relationship that a brotherhood represents for nurses, the loyalty that comes from self development and development of team members. Brotherhood means standing with your peers--enhancing practice excellence and creating an environment of togetherness.

Margaret McClure continues her active speaking career in addressing the value of the Magnet Recognition Program for staff nurses at all the Montefiore network hospitals in the Bronx (Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein Hospital, and Wakefield Hospital (formerly Our Lady of Mercy), at OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford, IL and at Nicklaus Chlidren's Hospital in Miami, FL in April and early May. She emphasizes the journey to Magnet as one of pride and finding the excellence in nursing practice, whether already Magnet or on the journey.

Judith Vessey
Former NEF Scholarship recipient and NEF Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, has just received a $750K NIH grant to develop, create, and evaluate a brief screening tool (Child-Adolescent Bullying Screen) that can be used by healthcare providers with middle school youths seeking care in ambulatory clinic settings.