BSN student follows his dreams thanks to fellow Southwest Virginians.
David and Mary Anne Wine of Roanoke know firsthand that opportunities for higher education can be hard-fought.
That’s why their gift of a new scholarship to UVA School of Nursing is so personally meaningful. The J. David and Mary Ann Wine Endowed Scholarship for Nursing supports licensed nurses (RNs) with associate’s degrees from Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) who are expanding their educations and careers through UVA’s RN-to-BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) program.
The Wines’ new scholarship honors their alma maters and their shared belief in the value of community colleges as pipelines to advanced degrees and living-wage jobs for many Southwest Virginians. David is a VWCC alum and serves on the VWCC Educational Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the board of six other organizations supporting healthcare, arts, education, and economic development in Southwest Virginia. Mary Ann received her BSN and a master of science in nursing degree (MSN) from UVA. She became a longtime nursing instructor at New River and Wytheville Community Colleges in Southwest Virginia, helping to build their nursing programs.
“I’ve always seen a need to facilitate the movement of nurses forward with their education. And I’ve also seen its value in my students’ lives,” said Mary Ann.
Scholarships like the Wines’, along with UVA School of Nursing’s innovative suite of accelerated, hybrid, and flexible degree programs, including the RN-to-BSN option, are helping nurses at all levels overcome financial and logistical impediments to career growth. They’re also aiming at the national nursing shortage, which experts attribute to factors including an aging baby boomer population in greater need of health services, a lack of qualified nursing educators, high turnover, and an inequitable workforce distribution.
Mary Ann lived through a similar nursing shortage in the 1980s and said, “Anything that we in the nursing community can do to try to fix the problems we’ve lived and seen, I think it behooves us to do what we can.”
OVERCOMING ROADBLOCKS TO EDUCATION
One of Mary Ann’s first challenges as a high school graduate and aspiring nurse in the late 1960s was generational. Before being allowed to enroll at UVA for her BSN, she’d had to complete two years at Radford College, a women’s teaching college without a nursing program at that time.
“It was a time when women were not accepted as first-years at the University, so we went somewhere else for two years and sent in our grades every quarter. At the end of the two years, they would deem us worthy or unworthy to enter the program at UVA,” she said.
Mary Ann was able to transfer to UVA as a third-year and obtained her BSN in 1971. After working as a practicing nurse for several years and starting a family, she returned to UVA to pursue graduate education, earning her MSN in 1982.
“It was an interesting point in history because everyone realized the nursing shortage would impact us in many ways, and nursing teachers were badly needed. So the University started an outreach program with graduate-level courses for nurses in Southwest Virginia who were working full-time but wanted to further their education,” said Mary Ann. “It was the only way I could get a master’s degree because I could not quit my job and leave my two children to come to Charlottesville.”
Mary Ann was able to continue living and working in the New River area of Virginia. It took her five years to get the MSN. As an instructor in the community college system, she encountered guaranteeing all qualified Virginia Community College System graduates admission to UVA’s RN-to-BSN program. Another is providing a flexible, part-time learning option combining online classes with once-a-month in-person sessions in Charlottesville, Fairfax, or Richmond. UVA nursing alums are also guaranteed admission to the school’s MSN, post-master’s certificate specialties, and DNP programs.
One current student who hopes to take advantage of that guaranteed pathway to an MSN and, ultimately, a DNP is Jordan Mackenzie Glynn, the first recipient of the Wine Scholarship.
“I want to take nursing to the highest level possible,” said Glynn. “And I want to be able to share my experiences to help others learn. Having that advanced degree also would allow me to teach at that program level, which would be a great way to give back.”
PAVING THE WAY FOR A NEW GENERATION
Glynn, who’d been accepted to the RN-to-BSN program but initially planned to defer for a year because of personal and financial reasons, said he was “taken aback” when he learned he’d been awarded the Wine Scholarship. Coupled with the ability to continue working full-time as a medical and surgical ICU nurse at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Glynn said the scholarship gave him the extra support he needed to begin working on his BSN in 2023.
Juggling a demanding job with his UVA classes, plus a new mortgage and a toddler, Glynn has a full plate, but he’s used to chaos. ICUs are “busy and volatile environments where everything is on fire, yet somehow we’re managing,” said Glynn.
He intends to spend the next six years expanding his nursing education at UVA.
The Wine Scholarship for Nursing at UVA aligns with a partner scholarship Mary Ann and David created for high school students who want to begin their path to nursing at VWCC. They’ve designed these scholarships to increase Southwest Virginians’ access to nursing degrees and career mobility. “It thrills me if that can be one of the things we accomplish by this,” said Mary Ann.
For Glynn, the Wines’ support is also personal. “To know that someone in the community wants to help and is placing a bet that you’re going to do well and make a difference with their support adds a degree of accountability and extra inspiration. That someone believes in you, it gives you that push, that extra tank of gas when you need it,” he said.
Learn how you can support nursing education by contacting Ruth Cassell, Associate Director of Development, UVA School of Nursing, at email@example.com or 434.962.9473 or call 800.297.0102.