2021 Scholarship Recipients
Advancing Nursing Degree
Andy McMurray is a NWRNA member and a student in the MSN-FNP program at Gonzaga University.
Andy has worked for the past seven years as a critical care nurse. Growing up in a rural community in Iowa has fueled his desire to become a FNP, with a goal of working as a practitioner in traditionally underserved rural communities.
“The experiences I have had as a bedside nurse have laid the foundation for my future practice and the personal motivation to help those in need, specifically in rural critical access areas. Healthcare professionals in these communities are valued not only for their knowledge, but because they may be the only access to healthcare a community has.”
Miriam Witt is a NWRNA member and a student in the MSN program at Western Governors University.
Miriam works as an RN at Skagit Valley Hospital. She also volunteers internationally as a disaster response nurse, and teaches part-time as a Clinical Nurse Educator at Skagit Valley College.
After graduating from high school, Miriam traveled to Kenya to volunteer at an orphanage in an area ravaged by AIDS. “I experienced the toll this debilitating disease brought to the people of this community. Every day I walked with sick children in my arms for several miles to the nearest hospital. At this point in my life, I realized I wanted to make nursing a life-long career.”
Initial RN Licensure
Veronica DeGolier is a nursing student at Bellingham Technical College.
Veronica has worked as a doula since 2017, witnessing and supporting 31 women through pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum period. This experience has led her to pursue a career in nursing with the ambition of working as a labor and delivery nurse.
Veronica says her passion for the profession energizes her to “spend my off days reading the most current research on lowering cesarean rates, how to catch preeclampsia sooner, avoiding unnecessary medical intervention, understanding the vast difference in black maternal mortality rates vs. white women, and more.”
Rachel Hollinsworth is a nursing student at Bellingham Technical College, seeking an DTA-MRP Associate Degree.
Rachel was working as a food service assistant at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Through tuition assistance available through her union, she became certified as a nursing assistant. When COVID hit, she volunteered to assist at the Shuksan Healthcare Center. She also volunteered with the Whatcom County Syringe Services Program.
Rachel says these experiences have given her a “better understanding of their circumstances and challenges. One of the main things these experiences have provided me is the ability to gauge people by their verbal and nonverbal communication and control the way I interact and respond to them.”
Cheyenne Scheffler is a nursing student in the ADN-RN program at Everett Community College.
Cheyenne currents works as a CNA at Providence in Everett. She also volunteers with Catholic Community Services of Western Washington.
Cheyenne says her inspiration to pursue a nursing career started from her own experience as a patient as a teenager. “It was truly through the care of the nursing staff that I began the challenging road to recovery. They were so caring, compassionate, understanding and willing to help that it instantly became my goal to repay their kindness.”
2020 Scholarship Recipients
Akashpreet Kaur Boparai
Akash is a student in the nursing program at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA.
“When I or my loved ones are in the hospital, we expect to be treated nicely and receive proper care – I offer the same respect, dedication, and thoroughness. I believe in karma, that if I do my job with passion and care I can make a positive impact on people’s life. I read somewhere, ‘people will forget your name, but they will not forget how you make them feel’ and I truly believe in this. I think my passion for my career will lead me to success. I hope my individual success inspires others and serves as a point of contact for underrepresented groups.”
Ngoc is a student in the nursing program at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA.
“Moving to study in the States was the turning point in my life where I grew from a girl who was negligent in my responsibilities into an adult who is capable of handling several situations and acknowledging that crying is not the only solution. I have seen doubtful eyes from my classmates when I took anatomy and physiology courses, and experienced discrimination from some coworkers when I worked as a nursing aid. However, majoring in one of the most challenging programs and being the only international student in the class has proven to me and my community that I can succeed.”
Breanne is a student in nursing program at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA.
“Becoming a nurse is a career change that I began to pursue two years ago after completing a Wilderness First Responder course. It was during a simulated scenario when I had to move a patient with a broken femur from under a fallen tree that something sparked in me. I had an ‘aha moment’ and knew I wanted to pursue a career in health care. Nursing will be a career that offers life-long learning opportunities as well as being part of the ever evolving medical field. While it has been challenging to begin a new path, I know that the direction I am heading will be full of excitement and provide life-long learning opportunities.”
Ryan is a student in the Masters of Science in Nursing – FNP program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.
“Growing up, my family was the proud owners of Willis Honey House, a beekeeping business. It was through the process of caring for and tending to the bees that I learned about my interest in nursing and caring for others. As beekeepers, we would medicate them to prevent infestations of mites and other diseases. We accomplished this through medicated feed patties and without this prevention, they surely would have perished. I wanted to be able to continue helping others who were unable to care for themselves…After becoming a RN, I worked in a combination progressive and intensive care unit for three years to build my skills and gain a better understanding of medical options available to patients as they age. I am amazed at the measures we can enact to keep someone alive.”