MVH Awards Nursing Scholarships to Local High School Students

This year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses from one end of the globe to the other are receiving recognition for the heroes they are in the communities they serve. The role of the nurse is so vital to patients that the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. According to WHO, the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

Each year, dozens of graduating seniors in the nine school districts in the mid-Monongahela Valley area who are pursuing nursing degrees apply for Registered Nurse Scholarships provided by Monongahela Valley Hospital. Recipients are selected based on their academic record, extracurricular activities and leadership roles throughout their high school careers. Scholarship recipients are required to maintain a 2.5 Grade Point Average in a Registered Nurse Program operated by a National League of Nursing Accredited School of Professional Nursing. Once they become a registered nurse, recipients are obligated to work for MVH for up to two years.

"Our Nursing Scholarship helps to ensure that we continually have bright and skilled new nurses to provide medical care to our patients," explained Sherry Watkins, MBA, MSN, RN, MVH's senior vice president and chief nursing officer. "The selection process was very difficult this year because we had many qualified applicants."

MVH's 2020 scholarship recipients include students from Belle Vernon Area High School, Bethlehem-Center High School and Charleroi Area High School.

Elaina Serrao, who will graduate from Belle Vernon High School, plans to pursue a nursing degree from Carlow University. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. Ms. Serrao was a member of the girls' volleyball team and participated in many clubs.

Faith Johnson will graduate from Bethlehem-Center High School. She has chosen Community College of Allegheny County as her path to a nursing career. Ms. Johnson participates in many extracurricular activities such as Track, PJAS, Relay for Life and the Drama Club.

Alexis McCollum will graduate from Bethlehem-Center High School and attend Waynesburg University where she will study Nursing. During her high school career, Ms. McCollum served as a class officer, has been inducted into honor societies, participated in many extracurricular activities and volunteered for community organizations.

Joseph M. Caruso will graduate from Charleroi Area High School. Mr. Caruso will study Nursing at Waynesburg University. In addition to his many academic honors and achievements, he is a four-sport athlete and has served on Student Council.