By Jeff Della Rosa
Candice Brown and Anna Kathleen Plyler were selected as the winners of The Right Solutions’ first scholarship contest. They both received a $500 scholarship.
Brown of Siloam Springs is attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and is enrolled in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. Her GPA is 3.8.
Plyler of Little Rock also is attending the University of Arkansas, is enrolled in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing and has a GPA of 3.9.
“The mission statement of The Right Solutions of ‘Comforting and Restoring Lives’ was so descriptively described in the beautiful stories that all of the applicants submitted,” said Diana Wright, president of The Right Solutions. “It was very rewarding to see how truly committed all of the applicants were to my personal philosophy of ‘saving lives is all we do’ as healthcare professionals every day.”
Nearly 30 nursing students applied for the contest.
“It takes a special person to go into the medical field,” said Taylor Faught, chief executive officer of The Right Solutions. “We are glad we can help someone like you go out and serve other people.”
Applicants wrote an essay on the following question: “As a future nurse, what does the phrase ‘Comforting and Restoring Lives’ mean to you?” The essay was required to be at least 600 words.
The following was taken from Brown’s and Plyler’s essays.
“‘Comforting and Restoring Lives’ sums up what I think it means to be a nurse,” Brown wrote. “Being a nursing student, I love taking time getting to know my patients better by talking with them and listening to their concerns.”
In her essay, Brown explained how she became acquainted with a man who had dementia and just went through hip replacement surgery. She met him in her first semester of nursing school.
Brown visited the man daily at lunch. The first day she came to see him she read the sports section of the newspaper to him.
“After reading almost the whole sports section to him he started telling me how much he loved playing football during his younger years,” Brown wrote. “Talking about these memories excited him, and he relived some of the greatest touchdown runs with me right there in the hospital room.”
Brown said most of the time he didn’t remember her as she returned each day to visit him. But he would always thank her each day for the time they spent together.
“Witnessing as he grew stronger day by day, I was amazed as he was up walking with his walker before being discharged,” she wrote. “Even though this gentleman probably won’t recall our memorable lunch dates, I know that I will never forget them, or him. He taught me the importance of noticing a person’s needs and proactively exercising compassion and care.”
In Plyler’s essay, she wrote that she decided to be a nurse when she was a junior in high school.
“I have learned in order to provide the best care for patients, it takes an entire team of health care professionals. However, it always seems as if it is one specific group of professionals who brings all team members together,” Plyler wrote.
Plyler explained the care that nurses gave to her grandparents before they passed away.
“It was the nurses who advocated for my grandparents, took care of their bodies when they were no longer able, provided means of comfort and relief and the best care to their abilities, and were diligent listeners to my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins during times of grief and fear of the unknown,” she wrote.
She said her eyes were especially opened when her last living grandparent died. She explained that when she looked back on his medical history, how lucky he was to live as long as he did.
“If it were not for the group of health care professionals that took care of him when he was on his ‘death bed,’ as one doctor described, he would not have lived for the 10 additional years that he did,” Plyler wrote.
“As a future nurse, I hope I can make a lifelong impact on my patients and their families,” she said. “Not only do I want to provide my patients with the best care possible, but also I desire that I am able to restore hope in my patients and their families.”
A panel of TRS management determined the contest winners.
“Our mission is to comfort and restore lives,” Faught said. “We’re glad to help you achieve your goals.”
The deadline to enter the contest was May 16. To enter, applicants must have been 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, currently enrolled in a nursing (RN) program with an accredited U.S. college or university and have a GPA of 3.0 or greater.
The contest is expected to take place annually.
To read Candice Brown’s and Anna Kathleen Plyler’s essays, click on the links below: