Caring is Priceless

Over the years, Radford University-trained nurses have earned a sterling reputation in the health care industry.

Behind that reputation is the support from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation.

One of Radford University’s longest and most generous partners, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, has provided nearly $3.5 million in scholarships to Radford nursing students since 1991. Since 2008, nearly 550 Radford University students have received the foundation’s assistance.

Such enduring support humbles School of Nursing Director Tony Ramsey.

“The trust and confidence shown by the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation in the school’s faculty, curriculum, students and culture is a cherished endorsement,” Dr. Ramsey said.

Ramsey described the situation facing one recent Whitehead Scholarship recipient, a senior nursing student. She works 12-hour clinical shifts at two local hospitals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, takes upper-level nursing classes on Thursdays and Fridays and works on Saturdays and Sundays at a local restaurant.

“Without the help provided by the scholarship, this student would have to fit a couple of more work shifts into her schedule,” Ramsey said. “And I don’t think there’s a clock made to accommodate the hours needed to fit it all in.”

In 2014-15, 56 undergraduate students received a scholarship of between $2,500 and $5,100 from a $340,000 gift of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation. Twelve Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidates also received scholarship help in 2014-15, marking the first time these advanced practice nurses have received such invaluable assistance.

“The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation makes it possible for our talented, enthusiastic and motivated nursing students to focus on the rigorous studies and preparation that modern nursing and health care demands,” Ramsey said.