AORN Blog - The Periop Life

4 Tips to Get That Scholarship You Want

A conversation with AORN Foundation Scholarship Recipient Kelsey Baughn

4 Tips to Get That Scholarship You Want

April 19, 2018     

Kelsey Baughn

After undergoing a series of knee surgeries as a kid, I became fascinated with the surgical process. I knew early on that I wanted to build my career in the OR.

Today, becoming an RN First Assistant is my dream. I’m proud to say that this December I will be so much closer to making this a reality when I graduate from nursing school.

As I make the final push of balancing papers and tests with my work as a Surgical Assistant at Evergreen Health Medical Center in Kirkland, Wash., I’m so grateful for the financial support I received from the AORN Foundation through a scholarship.

Honestly, I was skeptical when my nursing colleagues encouraged me to apply. I have tried for scholarships in the past and even with a 4.0 GPA and lots of hard work, I’ve never been lucky enough to receive a financial award for school.

“Just try for it,” they kept saying. So I did. I applied for an AORN Foundation Scholarship last spring.

To my surprise, I was awarded one.

I was so shocked! The award covered half of my fall semester tuition.

And, there was more. As part of the scholarship, the AORN Foundation connected me with Perioperative Nursing Director Shelley Satterthwait to be my mentor. Shelley has been so supportive and it’s such a good feeling to know I have this support as I begin my nursing career.

To those of you working long days to cover your nursing school tuition, and to those of you crunching the numbers with a dream to be a nurse, I have some advice that has helped me.

1. Don’t Get Discouraged

Apply to as many scholarship opportunities as you can, because you just never know. You might not get it, but don’t lose hope. Stay positive and keep applying because every dollar matters so much when it comes to education.

2. Make Yourself Stand Out

When you are writing about yourself and your career goals for a scholarship application, it’s important to emphasize what makes you unique. In my application for my AORN Foundation scholarship I talked about my previous experience in MedSurg, Oncology and PACU that solidified my passion for the OR.

3. Get the Grades, They Do Matter

When you are trying to get a scholarship, having the right GPA does makes a difference, not only to be considered for a scholarship but also to meet the requirements for accepting the scholarship.

4. Find Work and School Balance

I feel like everyone should try to work at least a small amount during school to get clinical experience. Balancing work and school also helps you manage your time to study and stay focused. This also looks good for both scholarships and RN jobs as it shows you can multi-task and prioritize your time.

Additional Resources

Interested in applying for an AORN Foundation Scholarship? The application window for the 2018-2019 school year is open through June 15, 2018. Apply now.