Nursing student Latoya Smith is taking her education to the next level as the result of a unique scholarship opportunity provided to Broward College graduates who earn their Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation RN-BSN Scholarship Program, established by the Broward College Foundation, aims to support aspiring nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree through Broward College’s RN-BSN program. 

Latoya, 30, enrolled in the RN-BSN program after graduating with her ASN from Broward College in 2023; she is now a member of the largest RN-BSN cohort of 290 students at Broward College. She said the BSN is sometimes preferred by employers or a prerequisite for promotions among specific nursing roles. “My earning potential increases and my competitiveness in the job market improves by having a BSN,” she said. 

The DeLuca RN->BSN Scholarship covers the tuition and fees for the first course in the RN-BSN program. Currently, there are 98 DeLuca Scholars enrolled in the program with an average scholarship award of $650. Through involvement in the program, Smith is gaining valuable insights and skills she will use to make a positive impact on underserved communities. She plans to serve as a full-time nurse, aligning with the program's goals to inspire ASN graduates to finish their bachelor’s degree as soon as possible. 

“The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, communication, leadership, and evidence-based practice, which are important for expanding my nursing knowledge and delivering top-notch patient care,” she said. “My nursing career may take on new directions and opportunities after completing this RN-BSN program, such as positions in administration, research, leadership, and specialty practice areas.”  

Smith’s career trajectory is tracking just as expected thanks in part to the hard work she puts in outside the classroom. She works as a nurse extern in the neonatal critical care unit at Broward Medical Center and is a peer mentor on the College’s A. Hugh Adams Central Campus. With the help of the RN-BSN program, she is one step closer to achieving her professional goals of becoming a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pursuing additional nursing education, and eventually be able to return to the nursing profession by instructing other nurses. 

“The DeLuca Scholarship allows me to pursue higher education without the crippling stress of tuition, fees, and other associated expenditures by giving financial support,” said Smith. “It has been crucial in helping me reach my goal of attending college and opening doors to better prospects, and I will be forever thankful.” 

Healthcare leaders in Broward County who rely on the College’s nursing pipeline to provide the healthcare professionals of tomorrow are also grateful. “The RN to BSN program helps to support the development of the nurse in that they are able to learn critical thinking and leadership skills,” said Jean Seaver, associate vice president for the Department of Learning and Development at Broward Health and honorary director of the Broward College Foundation. “The program helps to extend them beyond caring for patients to caring for their teams, departments and for the future of professional nursing.”  

Are you interested in a career in healthcare? Learn more about how Broward College’s Health Sciences programs can help put you on the path toward achieving your dream job. 

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