Sammamish resident Samantha Girard, a member of the nursing faculty at Bellevue College, has earned a coveted spot in the prestigious Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program for her work pursuing a doctorate of philosophy in nursing. As part of the program, she will receive a $20,000 grant to cover tuition and research-related expenses. She is one of 200 people chosen nationwide for the program.
Girard, who has taught at BC for nearly six years and is a tenured instructor, is currently in the doctoral program at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. She is expected to graduate in early 2014 and will continue teaching at Bellevue College.
“We’re tremendously proud of Samantha’s accomplishments. Her successful completion of the doctoral program in nursing will expand her contributions in making the nursing education we offer here at Bellevue College of the highest quality,” said Kevin McCarthy, dean of the Health Sciences, Education and Wellness Institute.
The Jonas scholars program is meant to address the nation’s dire shortage of nursing faculty – nursing schools turned away more than 67,000 qualified applicants in 2010 alone. To help increase the number of nurses in the region, Bellevue College is working to develop a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, with classes slated to begin in the fall. The program has been approved by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, and is on track for approval by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. The degree will bring the total number of bachelor’s degrees offered at Bellevue College to five.