Pennelope Elder, RN, of Alton, an employee of Orange City Area Health System who is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Briar Cliff University, has been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). She is among 34 outstanding students from all over Iowa who have received assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.
Iowa hospitals established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to remain in the state as they establish their careers. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005, and now 301 students have benefited from the program. Including these latest awards, the scholarship program has provided more than $900,000 in direct support to students since its inception.
In exchange for that financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. In this way, the scholarship program helps stabilize and enhance Iowa’s hospital workforce.
Hospital leaders from all parts of the state evaluated scholarship applications from more than 100 qualified students who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference, and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.
“IHA and IHERF recognize the importance of pursuing higher education in the nursing field — just as Orange City Area Health System does — so we are happy to support Penny in this endeavor,” remarked Laurie Gebauer, MSN, Director of Patient Care at Orange City Area Health System. “Penny is greatly deserving of this award and we are proud to have her as part of our healthcare team.”