Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Nursing Student Receives Johnson & Johnson Scholarship

BS in Nursing student reflects on her experience

by Kelsey Lee ’25

I heard about this scholarship through the student’s announcements and decided to apply. There was nothing to lose, and I just wanted to help offset the burden of tuition on my mom, who is a nurse and pays for my tuition. The least I can do is try to help in any way possible.

I've learned it's always better to try and fail than not try at all.”

In the scholarship essay, I shared, “The nursing program here at USF strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and those values are embedded into our learning. Not only have I learned to care for a patient, but I have also learned how to look at their situation from a holistic perspective, considering every patient’s cultural background and personal beliefs. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in culturally competent care in my clinicals by meeting and interacting with patients from all walks of life. I also had the privilege to participate in a poverty simulation. I learned how poverty can have major impacts on health when you don’t have the financial resources or access to healthy foods.”

One of the values I hold very personally is diversity and equity. This is one of the reasons why I chose USF. I'm interested in labor and delivery, and black women have the highest mortality rates in childbirth. I want to learn more about the causes and implement changes to decrease this inequity.

“Kelsey is very determined to complete her nursing program and possesses the qualities of a caring and compassionate nurse. She is a very smart, independent learner and is resilient to changes and challenges,” shared a faculty member who submitted a letter of recommendation for Kelsey.

I’ve learned a lot in my clinicals. It's definitely a big learning curve, and finally, I'm at that point where everything's starting to come together. It's really exciting to start working with a psychosocial perspective. My clinical instructor has helped me reflect and develop my thought process as a nurse. I have learned to ask, and by asking, you're empowering the client to tell you what is OK to do within their culture. It's important not to assume.

My mom and older sister, who are both nurses, have always inspired me. I have always wanted to make a positive difference in the world and help people meaningfully, and pursuing nursing is my way.

At USF, you have extra opportunities related to social justice. The community is from different parts of the world, and you learn to empathize with people from various countries. It is a very open and safe space.

I feel honored and privileged to have been selected for the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. It is a reminder that I am heading in the right direction.

To future nursing students, I would say not to let fear of failing ever stop you from applying to the program, the scholarship, or the internship. There will be challenges, but embrace them with courage and confidence. Nursing school can be hard, and you can doubt yourself. I think we've all doubted ourselves at one point in nursing school. But just remember, you're here for a reason.