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Posted on Sep 6, 2017

Two USF Nursing students awarded the Bonnie Pirkle Memorial Scholarship

Two USF Nursing students awarded the Bonnie Pirkle Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Charles Hauter and Melissa Russell, USF College of Nursing students, who have been awarded the Bonnie Pirkle Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship supports nursing students who are considered non-traditional.

“I am honored to receive the Bonnie Pirkle Scholarship,” said Russell, a USF alumni who studied journalism, and is beginning her first semester in the nursing program. Her interest in medicine began at a young age. “When my dad was studying emergency medicine, I loved reading through his textbooks and anything else I could get my hands on,” she said. “Since then, I have studied stuff on my own.

Having been a licensed massage therapist for more than 13 years, I love learning about aspects of health and wellness. I decided to take the step into nursing to further my scope of practice with clients in ways that I am not able to now.”

Originally established by the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA), this scholarship began with a simple goal – to offer financial support to deserving students so they can obtain a higher education. Applicants must be non-traditional students within the Bachelor of Science (BS) to Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree Sequence (SBN) program, exhibit financial need and a strong dedication to the nursing field.

The Bonnie Pirkle Memorial Scholarship is offered as a one-time scholarship, but will help Russell and Hauter as they continue their studies in the SBN program.

Russell has not decided on a definitive career path, but is grateful for the many options available to nurses. “I hope to have a better sense of direction by the end of this program,” she said. “Over the long course, I am considering becoming a nurse practitioner and USF has great training for that as well –so I will be back once again.”

Story by Nicholas Orlando, USF College of Nursing