Accelerated BSN Program student Amanda Weber of Hamilton Square, N.J., is a recipient of this year’s New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS) Annual Scholarship. The award was conferred during the organization’s annual convention at Harrah’s in Atlantic City on Feb. 17.
“I lost both parents to cancer at a young age,” noted Weber, who is scheduled to complete the 15-month Accelerated BSN Program at TESU in April. “Before they passed, my siblings and I were continuously in and out of hospitals. The nursing care they received and our exchanges with nursing staff at the time were a determining factor in our ability to work through the ordeal.”
Inspired by those interactions, Weber gravitated to the profession and now envisions her future as a critical care nurse. The recent NJSN acknowledgment and tuition support have reinforced her resolve.
“The NJNS Annual Scholarship is a competitive statewide award and a distinction that I’m very proud of,” said Weber. “I honestly did not expect to be selected but receiving it has put everything I have accomplished so far into perspective. I am thoroughly committed to my nursing education and it’s nice to be recognized for that effort.”
According to its website, New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS) is the state constituent of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), a pre-professional organization dedicated to fostering the professional growth of nursing students across the country. Weber will use the $500 scholarship funding from the organization toward her program tuition.
The University’s scholarship programs also helped ease the burden of cost for Weber who left full-time employment behind to concentrate solely on her nursing curriculum. She received a $1,500 Student Relief Fund Scholarship in 2021; a $4,000 Switzer Foundation Scholarship in 2022; and a $3,000 Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Scholarship in 2022.
Formerly enrolled in a local community college nursing program, Weber was one course shy of earning her diploma when her mother’s unexpected death scuttled those plans. When she began searching for accredited nursing programs in which she could continue her education, she found herself consistently waitlisted. She was on the verge of giving up when she learned about TESU’s program and enrolled in prerequisite courses in order to be admitted into the Accelerated BSN Program.
“We are proud of Amanda for her determination and success as a student,” said Dr. Lia van Rijswijk, associate dean of Undergraduate Nursing Programs at the School. “Receiving the NJNS Award is a major distinction among the state’s pre-licensure nursing students, many of whom take advantage of TESU’s liberal transfer credit policies and our School’s hallmark student advising support system while they complete their nursing prerequisite courses in the AAS in Applied Health Studies program and prepare their Accelerated BSN Program application.”
Weber found that the student support mechanisms built into the School’s programs facilitated her success. “The Accelerated BSN Program is challenging but extremely rewarding. I initially struggled with exams but rallied due to early intervention by the program’s staff and an excellent student support system,” noted Weber. “The nurse educators identified my weak spots and were a big help through my transition to bachelor’s-level coursework and the program has an excellent tutoring and mentoring system to back it up. I am also blessed with my three siblings and stepfather who have been my backbone and my support throughout.”
To learn more about the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions Accelerated BSN Program, visit www.tesu.edu/bsna.