Nursing Student Earns Scholarship from Magazine


ATLANTA – A Georgia Baptist College of Nursing student was recently selected from approximately 40 American and Puerto Rican applicants to receive a $1,000 scholarship from Minority Nurse magazine. Atlanta resident Tonya L. Brown, who will graduate in spring 2005 with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, was one of four students selected by the editors of Minority Nurse and its editorial advisory board for the scholarship based on academic excellence, financial need, participation in community service and clearly defined nursing career goals.

“The judges felt that Tonya’s exceptional commitment to academic excellence, community service, culturally sensitive patient care, and increasing increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the nursing profession clearly stood out from the crowd,” said Pam Chwedyk, senior editor and editorial manager for Minority Nurse, published by Career Recruitment Media.

Brown – a self-described “non-traditional student returning to college” – is a single mother of five children who has managed to maintain a 3.5 grade point average while at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. She has also held many leadership positions on campus, including student ambassador, junior class representative to the Honor Council, and Student Grievance Committee alternate. She is active in the Culturally Diverse Student Nurse Organization and the Georgia Baptist Association of Nursing Students.

Brown is also a national leader for nursing students in her elected role as director of Breakthrough to Nursing, a program of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) that was established during the 1960s civil rights era to recruit more students from underrepresented minority populations into the nursing profession. She also serves on the national board of directors for the NSNA.

“I believe that part of being a contributing member of society means working actively to give back to organizations that support our communities,” said Brown, who also volunteers as a food service worker with Atlanta’s Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless organization and is a registered blood and blood products donor with the American Red Cross. In the future, she plans to “give back to the profession” by becoming a nurse educator.

To receive the scholarship, Brown had to be a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, be completing an accredited BSN program, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

About Mercer University and Georgia Baptist College of Nursing:

The founding of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University in 1902 was born out of a vision to establish a Baptist institution for the training of “Christian nurses” to “heal the needy sick.” More than 100 years later, some 6,000 men and women have graduated from the College of Nursing, now part of one of the largest Baptist universities in the world since its 2001 merger with Mercer. The College requires students to undergo a unique three-year clinical sequence and offers clinical experiences in more than 40 of the Atlanta area’s most recognized healthcare agencies.

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.