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Pursuing Their Passion

Scholarships Help Nurses Fulfill Their Lifelong Dreams

“Every patient deserves someone who takes the time to go the extra mile for them, especially in a time of sickness,” said registered nurse Taylor Bowen, RN, BSN, who works on Level 2, one of the medical-surgical floors at CalvertHealth Medical Center (CHMC). “And I wanted to be that nurse.”

Bowen especially loves the personal connections she’s able to make with patients. “Every day, I get the privilege to help others when they need someone the most.” The four-time scholarship recipient obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from York College of Pennsylvania last year.

“I am forever thankful for the support from the CalvertHealth Foundation,” said Bowen. “Receiving the scholarships helped so much in pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse.

“Thanks to CalvertHealth, some of the financial stress was alleviated, allowing me to focus on my educational goals,” she said.

Since the allied health scholarship program began in 1991, it has awarded more than $755,000 to 510 students in Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s and Anne Arundel counties who are pursuing higher education in an allied health field. Recipients are not required to repay the foundation or work for CalvertHealth.

The scholarships also provide valuable assistance to those already working in health care who want to advance their career. Such was the case for registered nurse Kathleen Hyde, MSN, CRNP, FNP-C, (pictured far right) who has worked in the emergency department (ED) at CHMC since 2014.

Three years ago, Hyde decided to get a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. When she had to reduce her hours at work to accommodate her clinical schedule, her husband, who is a police officer, picked up overtime to help offset their change in income.

“But with a new baby at home, the scholarship helped ease the cost of school and allowed my husband more time to be at home with our family,” said Hyde, 32, of Huntingtown. Since graduating, she has accepted a position with CalvertHealth Primary Care in Prince Frederick.

Workplace of Choice

Initially, Hyde said she chose to work at CHMC because it was close to home. “But I chose to stay because the people here became my family,” she said. “I enjoy working at a place where everyone from the CEO, the housekeepers, the doctors and the medical staff know your name.”

Taylor expressed similar sentiments. “What originally drew me here was that it’s a community hospital. I knew I wanted to give back to the community that has blessed me with so much.

“And everyone was so welcoming. That absolutely amazed me because you don’t see that at larger hospitals. I truly believe that every employee has a voice here,” she added.

Opportunity to Grow

“I feel like I’ve grown so much as a nurse while working on Level 2 at CHMC,” said Bowen. “As any new graduate RN, I was extremely nervous on my first day. Would I mess up? Would the staff like me? All of those negative thoughts instantly left my mind when I stepped onto this floor.

“I was truly welcomed from day one and instantly felt like part of the team,” she said. “This made it easy for me to ask questions or ask for help when performing a skill for the first time. As a result, I’ve grown in confidence as a nurse.”

Hyde can relate to those feelings. “I remember when I first started in the ED, I was overwhelmed and scared and I looked up to my peers for guidance,” she said. “I took every learning opportunity I could get, joined all the committees, pursued new certifications and finally went back to school for my BSN.

“Then one day, someone came to me for guidance and I realized at that moment, I had become the ‘experienced nurse,’ ” said Hyde. “It was daunting and exciting at the same time. That was also the point in my career, when I realized I needed more and decided to get my master’s degree.”

Culture Encourages Teamwork

A sense of teamwork and camaraderie permeates the culture at CHMC. The hospital leadership believes this supportive environment plays a major factor in the longevity of employees at CalvertHealth.

“I’m excited to come to work because I know that no matter what type of assignments we have on the floor, the support available is just tremendous,” said Bowen. “No matter, how the shift goes, we always rely on each other and there’s never a time in which I feel alone.

“I love how it feels like a team,” she added. “I know that if I need help, I always have my co-workers or charge nurse in my corner. Everyone truly is there for one another and that makes a world of difference.”

Making a Difference

“The most rewarding aspect of my job as a nurse is knowing that I’m making a difference in each patient’s life, even if small,” said Bowen. “Knowing that my compassion, my voice and time can help a patient is one of the most rewarding feelings.

“If I was to give one piece of advice to anyone considering a nursing career, I would say it won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it,” she said.

When she reflects back on her nursing career, Hyde said, “I’m flooded with pride. I am proud of the work I do in my community and I am proud of the skills I’ve learned through working at CalvertHealth.

“In March 2020, we became ‘Healthcare Heroes’ for serving on the front lines to care for the community,” she added. “Two years into the pandemic, I am still proud to be a nurse and I love having a career that is so rewarding.”
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