New Nursing Scholars Program funds aspiring, local nurses

New Nursing Scholars Program funds aspiring, local nurses

Story and Photos by University Communications.

W ith their first five scholars in tow, the College of Health Science (COHS) School of Nursing (SON) has kicked off the Lettie Pate Whitehead (LPW) Nursing Scholars Program.

With four-year-long funding, the cohort-based program for qualified nursing students at Georgia College & State University (GCSU) will provide a full scholarship to recipients; including tuition, fees, housing, meals, textbooks, nursing program fees and one funded, healthcare-related study abroad.

We’re targeting students from middle and central Georgia for our region’s healthcare needs. We want to train the next generation of nurses, and we don’t want financial need to be a barrier to excellent students.
– Dr. Sheri Noviello

“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the shortage of nurses in our state and nationwide,” said Dr. Sheri Noviello, dean of COHS and current coordinator for the program. “We’re targeting students from middle and central Georgia for our region’s healthcare needs. We want to train the next generation of nurses, and we don’t want financial need to be a barrier to excellent students.”

Students in the program who retain admission requirements are also guaranteed admission into SON’s competitive Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

“This scholarship program will allow us to continue to recruit the most qualified students into our stellar nursing program,” said Josie Doss, interim director of SON. “It is an opportunity to grow the number of well-qualified nurses in Central Georgia by providing opportunities to those who may otherwise have had financial restrictions.”
Hannah Pelt of Macon, Georgia, one of the five scholars.
Hannah Pelt of Macon, Georgia, one of the five scholars.

The program is funded by the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, a scholarship program which provides funding for “deserving female students with financial need.” 

This support empowers scholars to match the first-in-class education of Georgia College’s nursing program with a tailor-made certificate in leadership and public affairs through The Office of Leadership Programs.

“We want Georgia College nurses to provide leadership in the communities they serve,” said Harold Mock, director of Leadership Programs. “In good times and in bad, we look to nurses to provide leadership in our institutions, in community life, and in making decisions.”
Kaitlyn Neesmith of Macon, Georgia
Kaitlyn Neesmith of Macon, Georgia

With current funding, five students have been selected for this year’s award, with about 20 students anticipated within the next four years. The students selected were the first five applicants who declared nursing as their major and met the standard for “financially needy,” based on students’ FAFSAs.
Madison Townsend of Warner Robins, Georgia.
Madison Townsend of Warner Robins, Georgia.

According to the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, students receiving aid must be female, self-identified as Christian, financially needy and a resident of Georgia.

All eligibility requirements, applications and other information can be found at the Lettie Pate Whitehead Nursing Scholars Program website.

Hannah Pelt of Macon, Georgia, said the scholarship has changed her life.
 
“It was a sign that I’m supposed to be a nurse,” Pelt said. “It wasn’t easy growing up. I never thought I’d be able to go to college and pay for it.”
 
“This scholarship has pushed me to put in my all,” she said, “and when I get that degree in my hand, and I’m able to help people, it’ll all be worth it.”