VNA Awards Nursing Scholarships

BASKING RIDGE, NJ (May 20, 2014) – The Board of Trustees of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills has awarded its 2014 Nursing Scholarships to Pierina Jijon of Dover, NJ and Jessica Tkacs of Randolph, NJ. Both students plan to pursue baccalaureate degrees in nursing and have received $1000 scholarships to help finance their education.

Dover High School senior, Pierina Jijon, will be attending The Catholic University of America. Jijon’s interest in a nursing career has been inspired through her experiences volunteering at over 25 Special Olympics events, and every Thursday for the past three years at Saint Clare’s Hospital in Dover. She observed how nurses help patients feel comfortable and secure. “I admire how nurses carry out their roles every day at the hospital,” said Jijan. “This is who I want to be.”

Following her graduation from The College of New Jersey with a degree in biology, former Randolph High School student, Jessica Tkacs, entered the Accelerated BSN program at Farleigh Dickinson University. Tkacs has already immersed herself in her future career, having gained experience working as a Nursing Aide at Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation in Chester, and by completing several internships and shadowing positions with healthcare providers. At Kessler, said Tkacs, “It feels so rewarding every day to help patients achieve a better quality of life.” She was especially touched during a visit with one of her former traumatic brain injury patients. “As I was leaving she told me that she was thankful to have met me, and that I give her hope in bleak times.”

“The VNA congratulates these exceptional students on their accomplishments, and is proud to support their decision to pursue a rewarding career in nursing,” said Ann Painter, President & CEO, VNA of Somerset Hills. “We applaud their enthusiasm for the healthcare profession and interest in caring for members of the community.”

Each year since 1991, the VNA has awarded college scholarships to high school seniors from Somerset or Morris County, planning to receive a degree in nursing. The scholarships are financed by proceeds from the VNA’s bi-annual Rummage Sale and other fundraising efforts.

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