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Cindy J. Visser Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$2,500
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2024
Winners Announced
May 31, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Study:

This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Cindy J. Visser by supporting students who share her desire to help others through nursing. Cindy J. Visser was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who lived a life full of empathy for others. The Cindy J. Visser Memorial Nursing Scholarship is set up to remember Cindy and her ability as a nurse to show empathy, compassion, and intentionality with her patients while also providing a high degree of professionalism.

Cindy worked as a registered nurse for most of her life and used nursing as a way to channel her love for the people in her community. Cindy graduated nursing school in 1976 and enjoyed a career of caring for people as an RN - first with 2 years on a medical surgical floor in a hospital, then through 20 years of urgent care in Tinley Park, 5 years of hospice care and finally with 10 years of home health care all over Chicagoland. Cindy was also an active member of her church, an avid reader, an artist, and a gardener. She loved to bike and to hike in the woods, national parks and by waterfalls.Throughout her life, Cindy found beauty in nature, her time with her family, and with the members of her community. 

In May of 2021, Cindy was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a rare but aggressive form of brain cancer. One year to the day within getting diagnosed with a brain tumor, Cindy passed away in her home of 44 years in the Chicago south suburbs.

If you are an undergraduate in Illinois who is passionate about helping people and believes that nursing is the best way to channel this desire, you may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us what inspired you to be a nurse, what you hope to achieve through your career and how you can help carry the values and traits exemplified by Cindy.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 21, 2023
Essay Topic

Please share what inspired you to be a nurse, what you hope to achieve through your career and how you can help carry on the values and traits exemplified by Cindy.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

May 2023

Winning Application

Lydia Jackson
Triton CollegeFOREST PARK, IL
Lydia Jackson: Associate Nursing Degree Triton College Nursing 101 Hello, and welcome to a little piece of my life. My name is Lydia Jackson, and I am a nursing student at Triton College. I would like to tell you about my journey and why I chose nursing as my future profession. There was this hospital with a beautiful statue on top of the building and I thought to myself they must provide excellent patient care there and wanted to be a part of it. One of my main goals in life is to become a nurse and I thought this would be a beautiful place to start. But life had a few changes in store for me. and 17 years later I was busy helping my children achieve their goals while putting mine on hold. After I helped my children achieve their goals, I started to focus on mine once more. I always knew I wanted to do more in life, so I applied to that beautiful hospital with the statue on top, which is now RUSH hospital and just like that, my journey began. I began my career at RUSH as a housekeeper and for 6 years, I enjoyed it. I felt like I was doing my part in keeping patients and staff safe. While working in housekeeping. I worked hard to keep everything clean in the patients' rooms; I would help the nurses with their patients when they were busy with other patients. This was when I knew my main goal was to become a nurse. I began to work my way up in the RUSH system. By this time, I was on a mission to complete my goal of becoming a nurse. One day, the director of quality asked my former boss for a position I hold today as an Infection prevention observer in the Clinical Effectiveness Department. I later found out that the chief nursing officer Angela recommended me for the position. Since coming to this department, I've won the award for our 1st annual Founders Day award for giving my all to our patients and staff, the awards are for non-clinical employee of the year, and best team of the year award. I've implemented campaigns to improve our hand hygiene compliance that have been highly successful and much more. As my team would say I hit the ground running. My improvement with the department has made me a better person in general because I have a voice that's heard. This only motivates me more and so do my coworkers. They encouraged me to continue my education and fulfill my goal of becoming a nurse. I took some classes to get used to being in the classroom and it paid off. I am about to start my nursing classes soon, so here I am again following my dream of becoming a nurse to continue to provide excellent the absolute best patent care I look forward to using my method of process improvement to further impact patient safety and to promote the best possible health outcome for my community.
Jodiefoss Ramos
Rutgers University-New BrunswickBergenfield, NJ
Gabriella Varcato
Saint Anthony College of NursingRockford, IL
I was inspired to become a nurse after seeing how kind and gentle the hospice care nurses were with my grandfather before he passed away. The nurses not only cared for him in his most vulnerable state but also for the rest of my family and catered to our emotional needs with such love and compassion; it is something I'll never forget. From then on, I knew I wanted to be that person for someone else's family. Those nurses went the extra mile to make sure all of us were being cared for and spending the quality time we needed with each other. While we were not their main priority, they made it a point to make us a priority and we knew that our loved one was in capable hands. Although I don't necessarily want to be a hospice nurse, I do want to be an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse and I know I can show patients and their family members the same care and compassion as the hospice nurses did for our family. From working in the ICU as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), I was able to closely see how those nurses navigated difficult situations and/or diagnoses and prognoses with patients and/or their family members. Watching them effectively deliver meaningful, quality care during someone's worst moments has been some of the most eye-opening moments of my life. Seeing just how much a small act of empathy can go is so motivating and inspirational for me. Caring for someone in that state is an honor and a privilege to me; knowing that there is a family that is putting their trust in you (and the rest of the healthcare team) completely is so rewarding and it brings me joy knowing that if they're placing that trust in me, then it may take some of the responsibility and worry off of their shoulders. I think I can help carry on Cindy's values by providing the compassion and care that patients need but also doing it in a way that showcases top professionalism and quality care. Through my time as a CNA and an Emergency Department Technician (ED Tech), I've been able to learn how to grow a rapport with patients and learn what makes people feel cared for in their times of need. Nothing brings me greater joy than when a patient feels like not only have their physical needs been met, but their mental and emotional as well and I cannot wait to, someday, be that nurse for someone.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2024.

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