With the success of its first year, the focus of Trocaire’s Pathways to Nursing Success program expanded to offering some of its supports to students outside of the program in the form of scholarships. In total this fall, Pathways has awarded $6,000 in scholarship funds and nearly $4,500 in emergency funds.
“The original grant outline allows Pathways to fully support 25 minority nursing students, but year 1 showed us that there are so many more students who also need support,” said Pathways Program Coordinator Shawnte Wilson.
One way to provide that support is through scholarships. Because the grant that sponsored Pathways (awarded through the federal Health Resources Service Administration) focuses on academic needs as well as social determinant factors, the Pathways scholarship allows recipients to identify what they need most. This ensures the awarded funds help defray student costs in areas that are purposeful and beneficial to them.
Wilson said that based on applicant information, these scholarship awards are often the difference between being able to register for classes the next semester or having to take time off from school. There are also some students who are in need of funds to live day-to-day.
“These awards not only assist with tuition but also assist with deferring the costs of much-needed school supplies like textbooks and uniforms,” she said. “Many students cut down on hours at work or stop working all together to focus on school. Social determinant scholarships acknowledge that and also allow students to also use awarded funds to pay rent, buy groceries, pay utility bills, manage school-based transportation costs and ultimately maintain for a little longer.”
The Pathways program is all about giving back to the student body. Though it specializes working with minority nursing students, there are many opportunities for any student to get involved, such as professional development workshops, mentoring, and other paid positions such as the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program and work study.