Being a nurse requires a level of fortitude, compassion, and proficiency unlike any other career. Nurses play a central, trusting and lifesaving role in the healthcare profession.
Each year, National Nurses Week runs from May 6-12. The end of the week coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, arguably one of the most famous nurses in history.
Around the beginning of the year, the ECPI University leadership team began discussing the idea of expanding our own version of nurses week.
“ECPI University provides hands-on instruction for students working towards their LPN, RN, BSN and MSN, employs educators training the next generation of nurses and partners with healthcare employers in need of our graduates,” says ECPI University COO, Barbara Larar. “We have a deep level of respect for the nursing field and our place in it.”
In the past, each campus has celebrated in their own way, around class schedules and exams, with small giveaways or food. The idea for a scholarship contest was a quick favorite. What better way to give back than to award aspiring nurses, current nursing students or nurses wanting to further their education with funds to support their education?
So in celebration of National Nurses Week 2022, ECPI University awarded nearly $60,000 in scholarships across its 14 nursing campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas and online. Each scholarship was worth $2,000.
The contest application process started at ecpi.edu/heart and lasted 10 days. To enter, applicants had to answer the question “How is Nursing a Work of Heart?”, submit a photo to be used for Facebook voting, and select which campus (and degree program) they planned to attend.
A scholarship team made up of faculty members narrowed over 500 entries down to just five finalists per campus, and finalists’ essays and photos were posted on ECPI University’s Facebook page for public voting from May 6-12. Scholarship winners were announced on May 12 during a special “Thank You” event for ECPI nursing students, faculty and graduates, held simultaneously at all 14 nursing campuses.
“After two years of pandemic education and care, we wanted to find a way to say thank you,” said Larar. “We hoped these scholarships would encourage potential or current nurses in the pursuit of their passion, or assist nurses already in the field who want to further their education.”
In addition to the scholarship announcements, all nurses and nursing students at the May 12th event received free customized t-shirts and a cardboard box with the university’s theme for the week: “Nursing is a Work of Heart.” Inside the box there were all kinds of goodies: a personal note from ECPI University leadership, a badge pull, snack, notepad and syringe pen. Together, the Nurses Week attendees enjoyed refreshments, networking and a short thank you presentation by Campus Presidents.