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Three nurses earn scholarships to pursue advanced nursing degrees

The skill and kindness of Yale-New Haven Hospital nurses impressed a patient so greatly when she was hospitalized that she and her family created scholarships so YNHH nurses could pursue advanced degrees.

That patient — Betty Ruth Hollander — was also a long-time member of the hospital's Board of Trustees. After her death in 2011, her family endowed two scholarship funds which they named for Marna P. Borgstrom, CEO, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Peter N. Herbert, MD, the hospital's chief of staff.

Nurses who are working on advanced degrees leading to licensure and certification as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, registered nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner are eligible to apply for one of the scholarships.

At the third annual scholarship celebration, Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, chief nursing officer, spoke to the award winners and pointed out that this is the first year that nurses on both campuses were considered for scholarships.

"These scholarships have supported the ability of staff nurses within this organization to pursue advanced education and the APRN designation," Fitzsimons said. "Advanced designation is key to quality care and nursing care at Yale-New Haven is already benefitting because prior to today's three recipients, seven nurses are pursuing advanced degrees as a result of the generosity of Betty Hollander and her family."

In his remarks, Dr. Herbert also emphasized the significance of the scholarships and their donors.

"These scholarships are wonderful recognition of the care — particularly the nursing care — Betty Hollander received at Yale-New Haven Hospital," he said. "Nurses are critical to the patient experience and these scholarships reflect the experience that the Hollanders had at this hospital."

This year, more than 40 nurses applied for the scholarships and three nurses were chosen after review by the APRN Council.

The recipients are:

  • Christopher DeFrancesco, RN, Adult Emergency Department, who is pursuing his doctorate of nursing practice at Quinnipiac University School of Nursing;
  • Jeffrey Curran, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, who will attend Southern Connecticut State University to become a family nurse practitioner; and
  • Chalina Kamrasyid, RN, Medical/ Surgical Unit, SRC, who will attend Quinnipiac School of Nursing to become a family nurse practitioner.

"Our advanced practice nurses are the experts across our campuses," said Fitzsimons, who noted that Yale-New Haven currently employs about 400. "We could not be where we are today without their efforts and the efforts of the scholarship committee to encourage nurses to apply for these scholarships so they can pursue this important degree."

Yale-New Haven Hospital news release

Yale-New Haven Hospital is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine. Yale-New Haven was founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826. Today, the hospital's two New Haven-based inpatient campuses include Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties. YNHH's York Street campus and associated ambulatory sites are Magnet-designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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