SIUE SON student Sydney Tate visits with a donor during the 10th Annual Scholarship and Award Luncheon.

EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SON) celebrated student achievement and gratefully acknowledged its donors during the 10th Annual Scholarship and Award Luncheon held Wednesday, April 12 in the Morris University Center.

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Scholarships worth approximately $26,000 were awarded to 39 student recipients. Eight students pursuing the SIUE SON traditional bachelor’s program on the Carbondale campus were among the awardees.

“Today we celebrate the wonderful partnership that our scholarship donors and recipients are forming,” said Patti McDonald, senior director of development. “This is a moment where you can get to know each other, share stories about your education and careers, and share in your passion for nursing.

“Philanthropic partnerships change lives,” she added. “We are incredibly thankful to each of our donors for selflessly and generously stepping forward to support our students on their path toward future success in nursing.”

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SIUE SON Dean Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN, expressed her gratitude to the School’s donors and highlighted the tremendous growth in the School’s programs and outreach initiatives.

“The SIUE School of Nursing is energetic, with robust enrollment and continued program growth and development which support our students in becoming excellent healthcare providers and leaders in nursing,” Bernaix said. “New initiatives such as our laboratory simulation program for both our undergraduate and graduate programs, and our global student experiences help further enhance our students’ ability to provide high quality and culturally sensitive patient care.”

School of Nursing alumna Rachel Smiley emphasized how donor support for nursing students is about “helping humanity.”President of the Alumni Advisory Board Rachel Smiley, who earned a bachelor’s in nursing in 2011 and a master’s in health care and nursing administration in 2015, emphasized that donor support for nursing students “helps humanity.”

“The best part of today is seeing the promise we have in our future nurses,” she said. “Our profession will be in great hands. We thank our donors for their generosity and support. You are helping these students achieve their dreams — which really are about helping people.

To scholarship recipients, she added, “Believe me when I say these awards are truly gifts that will propel you in your nursing journey.”

The SIUE School of Nursing’s fully accredited programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling nearly 1,400 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment.  SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs on the Edwardsville campus and the regional campus in Carbondale help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

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