Congratulations to the 2017 Scholarship Winner! is proud to announce this year’s scholarship winner- Megan J. Studdard. She is a college junior in Missouri State University. Our scholarship committee was very impressed with Megan’s track record, motivations and her work experience as a CNA. Congratulations! You can find her winning essay reproduced below. We’d like to congratulate Megan, and we wish her well in her studies and future career!

Megan’s Essay

If you would have asked me five years ago what kind of nurse I wanted to be I can tell you I never would have said that I wanted to become a geriatric nurse once I received my bachelors in nursing. However, obtaining my Certified Nurse Assistant in high school was one of the best decisions I made to put me in the position of not wanting to be anything other than a geriatric nurse. Many individuals look at me like I am crazy and ask, “why in the world would you want to work in geriatrics?” I think the reason I am most compelled to work with the geriatric population is because I can learn so much. They have so many stories to tell and they light up when they get to talk about their past.

Another reason I am passionate about being a geriatric nurse is because that generation has done so much for our society, and although I don’t know them personally I feel as though the least I can do is be there for them for their health problems. Doing clinicals at a nursing home in high school taught me so much. It taught me to love everyone. It taught me to appreciate the little things like holding their hand when they were scared. It showed me that lots of geriatric individuals don’t have families around to help them so the nurses become their family. They are the first people they see in the morning and the last before they go to sleep.

Geriatric nursing is caring for a vulnerable group of individuals. I think what I am most excited about is being able to be there advocate. This population is going through a difficult time, they have never had someone take care of them before, and now many of them don’t have any other options. Many individuals start to lose their sensory perception and cognitive memory. This can be frustrating for them, their families, and caregivers when they don’t know how to properly address the problem.

I want to be a geriatric nurse so I can continue to work at the bedside along with these individuals to encourage them to get back to their original health. I still work at the nursing home over the summers where I did my clinicals to get my CNA license and the hardest thing is leaving the residents to come back to school. When they give me hugs on my last day and say how much they appreciate me it is one of the best feelings ever. That is the feeling I want to experience for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine being anything else besides a geriatric nurse!