In 1983, Maureen graduated from an RN program. She was the sole support for her family, so it was difficult to find the time and funding to continue her education. “I loved bedside nursing —
and still do — but on many occasions, I felt my education was lacking. Although I was a registered nurse, I didn’t feel professionally recognized, and the ceiling of my career was in clear view,” she explains. In 2001, she found the right fit in University of Phoenix and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree. Eight years later, Maureen is a master’s student. “Quite recently, my passion for my profession intensified, and I recognized that I had a gift for educating others based on my many successful learning encounters with nursing students and patients.” Maureen would like to pay forward her education to fellow RN and daughter, Colleen. “Colleen is the mother of four; two are young teenagers, and the other two are 8-month-old twins. She works full time in order to help support her family and her elderly grandmother who lives with her. Time and money are the barriers she faces, and without a scholarship and a seat in University of Phoenix, she may not be able to overcome those barriers,” Maureen explains.
Recipient – Monroe, NC
Colleen belongs to a long family of nurses. “Nursing has been good to me, even before I became a nurse. My mother was able to provide for all of my needs — and most of my wants — because she was a registered nurse,” Colleen shares. Her mother’s own educational journey to become a nurse inspired Colleen. “Her professional and academic work ethic was passed down to me, and I was a very good student throughout my school life. I know how to study, organize, and I am very self-disciplined,” says Colleen. In 2004, Colleen earned her associate degree the same day that her mother earned her bachelor’s degree. “My mother was there — with me, of course — instead of attending her own graduation.” Since then, Colleen has worked as a labor and delivery nurse. “I love my job, and I can see a bigger future for myself. I realize that to achieve my goal of becoming a nurse midwife, I would have to start by setting my goals for attaining a higher degree."