Summer 2015 Nursing Scholarship Winner - Shinal Patel

July 2015 Scholarship Winner | Shinal Patel

BND: What inspired you to study nursing?

Shinal: So I ended up getting a position as a Patient Care Assistant about 2 years ago on the ortho, neuro and trauma floor at Ohio State University Med Center, which is one of our big hospitals here. And I kind of went into it not knowing what to expect. I knew I wanted to do something health care related just because I wanted to help people, I wanted to give back some way but there are so many things to choose from in the health care field, so I couldn't really narrow it down.

And so I felt that it would be a good way to get my foot in the door and kind of see the options I had. And I worked night shift for about 11 months and it was a little bit tough adjusting to it, but while working night shift I think I was able to see a various, good amount of professions coming in and out.

And when I saw what the nurses did, I really liked how they were able to connect with the patients. It wasn't just like a 2-hour meeting and then you're done. You really get to bond with them and I think it was the sense of just being proud that you helped somebody at the end of the day.

And I also saw a lot of nurse practitioners, so I think that would be my end goal. My sister's in Nurse Practitioner school right now and she graduates in May. She's in pediatrics, so I hear all her stories and I'm like, "I'm so jealous of you! I want to be there one day!" So that's really what kind of pushed me into the field.

And then I looked over a lot of programs because there's a whole bunch of different ones out there. And the school that I decided to go to was Ursuline College. It's an accelerated program, so it's about 15 months for your BSN, given that you've had course work done in the past. So I applied there and I was lucky enough to be accepted. I start in January.

BND: What helped you decide to enroll in an accelerated program?

Shinal: My sister used to be a Respiratory Therapist, so she went into the Graduate Entry Program where you just need the Bachelor's and you do the three-year MSN. So she kind of introduced it to me and then I researched it by myself because I knew I wanted to explore other schools.

I had been at Ohio State University for four years and I just felt that maybe it would be a good time to branch out.

I work at Ohio State Medical Center right now, but I'm not a Patient Care Assistant anymore. I do research in the OB, so I'm a Research Assistant and I love it. I work with even more nurses in that field so I think that's pushed me even more to go into the career.

BND: What do you envision of the future of the nursing field?

Shinal: I know there's a shortage of nurses right now and the need is so high. So hopefully, I mean I know it's not going to be an immediate change, but maybe in ten years we'll have more people in the profession, we'll have more assistants. And I think that's really going to help the patients because sometimes you have one nurse to four patients and the patient care is good but maybe it's not as great as it could be. There's always room for improvement.

Even working at the hospital now, I notice we have so many changes. Every month, something is different. And even though it's hard for everyone to adjust, I've learned as I've gotten older that those changes need to happen in order to benefit everyone.

So hopefully in the future, I think nurses will be – I mean, they're already so popular, it's a big field to go into, but maybe there will be more of a surplus so we won't have a shortage.

BND: How would the $2,500 'Back to School' Scholarship benefit you?

Shinal: I've taken off two years from school just because I wanted to have that time to save up money. I moved in with my parents so that's been helping. And I've really tried to not go into debt that I'm not going to be able to pay back. And so I've really been watching my expenses.

This scholarship would mean so much to me in the sense that maybe I could have a little extra money so that I wouldn't be so stressed all the time – counting every penny or dollar I need to spend and where it goes. And I read that the scholarship could go towards tuition or books.

So since Ursuline College is a private school, it is a little bit more expensive. And I would be making a two-hour move away from home to Cleveland since that is where the school is located.

So it would really help, maybe getting that deposit in and just having some extra money that I wouldn't have to worry about.

BND: We're pleased to announce that you are, in fact, the official winner of the July 2015 'Back to School' Scholarship from!

Shinal: It feels like I'm dreaming right now! I know there's so many people who probably applied for this scholarship and I was like, 'even if I don't get it, I'm happy for whoever does because I know the money is going to go well somewhere and it's going to help somebody. But to know that it's going to help me is a big sense of relief, I'm not going to lie.

Thank you so much, you honestly have no idea how much this means to me.