In 2022, three UAB Medicine nursing professionals created two endowed scholarships for underrepresented students seeking careers in nursing. The creators of these UAB School of Nursing scholarships hope they will help eliminate obstacles for deserving students and increase diversity within the nursing profession.
The Lindsey M. Harris, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, Alabama State Nurses Association Endowed Nursing Scholarship
Family Medicine CRNP Lindsey Harris established a joint scholarship with the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) that is open to students enrolled in or accepted to the UAB School of Nursing. The first Black ASNA president, Harris understands the benefits and challenges of creating a more diverse nursing profession.
“I want to help the underrepresented students aspiring to become nurses,” Harris said. “What I have seen is that some students are limited due to financial constraints, and my hope is that this scholarship will relieve that problem for generations to come.”
The Kesha Thurston, CRNA, and LaDana Williams-Davis, CRNA, Endowed Scholarship in Nurse Anesthesia
Kesha L. Thurston and LaDana Williams-Davis endowed a diversity-focused scholarship to the UAB School of Nursing for students currently enrolled in or accepted to UAB’s nurse anesthesia program. Thurston and Williams-Davis are certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) at UAB Hospital-Highlands and UAB Hospital, respectively, and they have worked for UAB Medicine for over 10 years. They are among the roughly 10% of CRNAs who are diverse, and they say diversity within this nursing specialty is important for the future of patient care.
“At the end of the day, we just wanted to give back, because having diversity among the nurses and nurse anesthetists is important to help ensure that we are caring for patients to the best of our abilities,” Williams-Davis said.
“The nurse anesthesia program is full-time and very intense, so we wanted to help underrepresented students financially and support them in being a part of increasing diversity within this specialty,” Thurston said.
This story is part of the Nursing Annual Report 2022. Click here to view the report.