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 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!
The Nurses Educational Funds Centennial Celebration
Honoring our Past - Funding our Future
October 24, 2012, board members and friends of the Nurses Educational Funds Organization celebrated NEF’s centennial with an elegant occasion at the Griffis Faculty Club at Cornell Weill Medical College.
Board Member, Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick, who was also a Nurse Scholar recipient many years ago, paid tribute to the first 2 scholarship recipients in 1912 and traced the highlights of NEF’s growth to the current awarding of 19 Master’s and Doctoral scholarships in 2012. Lovely Thelma Schorr, the editor of the American Journal of Nursing for decades, shared comments about housing and supporting NEF on West 57th in the Journal offices for years. Dr. Cynthia Sculco, NEF Vice President, spoke about the importance of giving, as nurses, as professionals, and as people who need to support each other. The best part of all was that we raised more than $30,000 for future scholars with this event.
With over 50 in attendance, old friends and colleagues hugged and greeted each other, and new colleagues and board members had the opportunity to meet those nurse scholars they had only known by name.
As your President, I see the centennial celebration as symbolizing the promise and energy for a great year ahead and renewed support for NEF’s commitment to significantly promote graduate nursing scholarship. We thank all of those who have donated and who came to enjoy the celebration.
Human Strength and Courage in the Face of Disaster
R U OK? The text message from a friend 500 miles away asked. A beautiful early spring day, it was one of Massachusetts’ most celebrated holidays--Patriots Day. A quick follow up call began to reveal the horror that was unfolding at the Boston Marathon. For anyone that knew the marathon route and timing, it was immediately clear that the plan was to kill or maim the maximum number of ‘ordinary’ people possible—not the elite runners but those running for charities and their family and friends at the finish line cheering them on. This included 300 students from my university and numerous colleagues from the hospital where I work. Other nursing colleagues were staffing first aid stations along the route and at the finish line. Although 3 lives were lost at the scene, first responders and other bystanders managed to triage, initiate treatment, transport patients, and clear the immediate area in 18 minutes. But this was only the beginning. Over the next week the saga continued. Various hospitals went on ‘lockdown’ in response to additional terrorism threats; ‘shelter in place’ was added to our personal lexicons. ‘Boston Strong’ became our anthem as stories of heroism and courage were told and retold in the media. But it is the untold stories of my nursing students that make me proud to be a nurse. Take for example one of my undergraduate nursing students. Running to raise awareness and money for the children with disabilities but stopped at the 25 mile mark, she immediately sized up the situation and with her friends, took off in another direction—not away from the chaos but to the nearest medical center to give blood. Another nursing sophomore, working as an admissions clerk in a local ER, was willingly pressed into service to help prepare for the influx of patients, despite the fact that her first clinical practicum was a semester away. A graduate student and nurse practitioner found herself caring for some of the most seriously wounded as they arrived in the ER. A doctoral student/nursing director helped orchestrate a particularly touching moment when Michele Obama quietly visited wounded children—no news media allowed. Mrs. Obama then applauded the unit staff for all that they were doing, warmly greeting supervisors and nursing students alike. It is now a month later at the close of nurses’ week. Almost all of the patients have been discharged, but their path to recovery is still long. It is during these trials and journeys that nurses really shine as they work to heal the physical and emotional wounds of their patients. It is good to know that NEF is helping prepare the next generation of nursing leaders to rise to this challenge.
Judith A. Vessey, PhD, MBA, FAAN, RN
Lelia Holden Carroll Professor in Nursing
William F. Connell School of Nursing