A master’s student at Hunter College School of Nursing has received a 2023–24 scholarship from the nonprofit Nurses Educational Funds.
Melissa Mendez, who is enrolled in Hunter’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, is one of eight master’s students around the country to be awarded the highly competitive scholarship this year. Nurses Educational Funds, whose motto is “Scholarship for Leadership,” also awarded scholarships to 34 nursing doctoral students across the country, totalling $250,000 this academic year.
"I congratulate and applaud Melissa Mendez on this prestigious NEF award,” said the Joan Hansen Grabe Dean of Hunter’s School of Nursing, Ann Marie Mauro. “Melissa embodies the excellence of our Hunter nursing students and our school mission to promote health and provide care to under-resourced populations in culturally diverse urban communities."
Mendez, who works at Bronx Psychiatric Center, looks forward to using her skills as a nurse practitioner to improve healthcare in poor and minority neighborhoods. As a Spanish-speaking nurse, she feels the shortage of nurses in New York acutely and hopes to inspire other Spanish speakers to work in healthcare, especially to treat mentally ill patients in The Bronx. Some 7,000 nurses at two New York City hospitals went on strike earlier this year in part over concerns about staffing levels.
Nurses Educational Funds, established in 1912, promotes leadership and health equality through annual scholarship support for professional nurses seeking master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing education, advanced clinical practice, research, health policy, and administration. Scholarship applications open on October 1 and close on February 1 of the next year.