Six incoming students returning to college to pursue a second career, and degree, in nursing at UCF will have a majority of their tuition and fees covered thanks to a new scholarship from a national trust.

The six scholarships are the first awarded from the $600,000 grant recently gifted to the College of Nursing from the Helene Fuld Health Trust, the nation’s largest funder devoted exclusively to nursing students and nursing education. This is the first time that the college is able to offer a continuous scholarship for new second degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) students. Scholarships were previously not available to these students until their third semester.

“Scholarship support is critical to provide much-needed financial assistance to students seeking to pursue a career in nursing and meet growing demand for skilled health care practitioners nationwide,” said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the UCF College of Nursing. “We are honored to receive a grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust and will continue to seek scholarship funding to aid more of our deserving students.”

Seventy individuals applied for the scholarship, which begins summer 2016 for the start of the 15-month accelerated second degree BSN program. The scholarship recipients were selected for their commitment to education, passion for nursing and dedication to helping others. The 2016 UCF College of Nursing Helene Fuld Scholarship recipients are:

  • Talia Boxman is a former aerialist on the open seas of South America. Through nursing, she will be able to combine her love for health care and psychology to create a more pervasive sense of mental and emotional health in society.
  • Natalie Chow-Garnichaud had put her goals of a health care career on hold to support family after her father became ill. She now wants to become an RN in critical care. Armed with a MBA, she plans to leverage her experience as a patient care technician and years of business expertise to effect change in health care focusing on the underserved community.
  • Jennifer Donnan, who was previously a teacher, has wanted to be in the medical profession since the age of three and loves hospitals. Her passion is in caring for mothers and infants.
  • Chloe Fults, a former elementary teacher, likes to work with people and serve others. She plans to use her experiences as an educator to guide those who come after her as a mentor, facilitator or nurse educator.
  • Alexandra Galloway was born premature at 28 weeks at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. Alexandra plans to eventually pursue a degree as a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatric acute care to give back to the field, and hospital, that allowed her to be here today.
  • Hanneke Hoekman-Sites has learned that helping others is truly the most important thing in her life. After pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthroplogy, she realized that her calling is being able to care for the community and patients through the nursing profession.
  • Each recipient will receive $6,250, which will be split among the first two semesters and cover a majority of tuition and fees. Students will be able to apply for additional scholarships to help pay for their third and fourth semesters.

    “We are thrilled to award scholarships to these new students and future Knight nurses. It is a noble, but often difficult decision to stop working in a current career and return to school for a second career in health care,” said Katie Korkosz, director of development for the college. “Since second degree nursing students are not eligible for many other types of financial aid, this scholarship not only recognizes their commitment to nursing but also makes it more affordable.”

    UCF was one of only 10 schools nationwide to recently receive funding from the Helene Fuld Health Trust. Half of the grant, which is awarded over three years, is being used for these six scholarships as well as more than $130,000 in scholarship funds to award in summer 2017 and 2018. The college will invest the remaining funds into an endowment to support second degree nursing students beyond summer 2018.

    UCF ranks among the top four percent of 778 B.S.N. programs nationwide, with 97 percent of B.S.N. graduates passing the NCLEX (RN license exam) on the first attempt. Offered on the UCF Orlando campus, the second degree B.S.N. program is designed for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or higher seeking a new career in nursing.

    For more information about the second degree B.S.N. program or other undergraduate and graduate programs at the UCF College of Nursing, visit