Lakeland nursing student Kaleigh Parisi has been named a University Hospitals Nursing Scholar. The honor comes with an award that offers up to $12,000 for student loan repayment as a selected student enrolled in the dual Lakeland/Ursuline College RN to BSN Program.
"Kaleigh is an outstanding choice for this very special distinction and award. She embodies every quality of our nursing philosophy at Lakeland," said Connie Bowler, DNP, RN, nursing program director at the college. "She is professional, altruistic, competent and dedicated to learning and growing. Kaleigh is very passionate and enthusiastic about the profession, and she will be an asset to the nursing team at University Hospitals and to the profession."
In addition to submitting three letters of recommendation, Parisi was required to complete several essay questions on topics such as teamwork, interpersonal skills, problem-solving and dealing with stressful situations. A final essay was completed during a professional interview which also included meeting with a panel of several members from the University Hospitals nursing leadership team.
"I am so grateful for this honor. I chose nursing because my family has a history of nursing. Both of my grandmothers were nurses, several aunts, and my mother is a nurse as well," said Parisi. The Concord Township resident is on track to graduate from the Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing in 2022. "I was always very inspired by them growing up. I also had medical issues that I faced in childhood, so I wanted to be able to provide others with the same comfort and care that was given to me by my nurses. I feel a huge sense of satisfaction knowing that in this profession I can really make a difference."
The University Hospitals Nursing Scholars Program reflects the hospital's commitment to meet the demanding health care needs of Northeast Ohio.
As a scholar, Parisi will work for University Hospitals for a minimum of 24 months following the completion of her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing degree from Ursuline College and becoming licensed to practice nursing in Ohio. The role will be in a hospital-based bedside, or home care registered, nurse position. In return, once the BSN from Ursuline College is earned, monthly payments will be made on behalf of the scholar for up to 24 months.
Lakeland's Nursing Program and Ursuline College established a partnership in 2017 to allow students to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing in less time at a lower cost. The program is designed to meet Northeast Ohio's demand for nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Students who dually enroll full-time in the Lakeland and Ursuline Breen School of Nursing programs can complete an associate degree in nursing (RN) in five semesters and then complete a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) in as few as two additional semesters post-licensure.
"To anybody who wants to pursue nursing - always chase your dreams. I was always one of the youngest in my classes and it was intimidating sometimes so I would also say that no matter your age or differences, you should always follow your dreams. Nursing is an amazing profession where you can change lives and make a difference. The road isn't easy but once you get there it will be one of the most rewarding things you can possibly do!"