Credit: Contributed

Bronx students Kamoy Beagle and Destiny Ashley, of four Black nursing students across the country, have been awarded academic scholarships from ShiftMed and HomeCare.com.

With more than 125 applicants, the selection teams chose Beagle and Ashley as well as Rayin Jordan from Fremont, Ohio and Salematou Diallo from Philadelphia to be the coalition’s scholarship winners.

The scholarship awards $2,000 each to cover education and advancement costs.

In partnership with the Nurses Against Racism coalition, these two leading nurse staffing platforms also aim to address racial inequities and the gross lack of people of color and representation in the healthcare industry.

“The representation of Black registered nurses in the U.S. lies at a low of 10%. We want to provide more access to careers in health care to everyone who is interested,” said Todd Walrath, CEO and founder of ShiftMed and HomeCare.com.

“ShiftMed and HomeCare.com are committed to helping minority candidates achieve upward mobility in health care and earn a living wage doing what they love. Though they have yet to enter their respective fields, we are amazed at the awardees’ passion for nursing and are confident that they will go on to lead impactful careers,” said Walrath in a statement.

Scholarship recipients were chosen based on a personal essay on their vision of a career in nursing.

Beagle, 17, said she dedicated her essay to her grandmother, who worked as a Certified Registered Nursing Assistant (CRNA) and became severely ill from COVID-19.

Her grandmother retired a few years ago, said Beagle, and the nurses who helped her in her recovery from COVID were instrumental. “When I went to visit her, I was inspired by the nurses who took part in her care because they understood their patient so much,” said Beagle.

Ashley’s nursing career was also inspired by a family member. Her younger sister was born prematurely and with a cleft lip and palate.

Ashley wants to become a travel nurse with the hopes of taking her skills to aid the world’s most underserved patients, and will be attending Pace University in the Fall.

Beagle said she was excited to be attending Stony Brook University since it was pretty much her dream school.

She already has an internship lined up at Stony Brook in the fall. “I was so excited when I got accepted,” said Beagle. “When I first visited, I always knew I’d go there.”

She will be majoring in nursing with the goal to go to graduate school to become a nurse anesthetist. She plans to make a long-term career at Stony Brook Hospital.

Beagle said she understands that being a healthcare worker is difficult.

One has to be caring, attentive, and calm under immense pressure, but there’s a clear need for healthcare workers in her community, she said, and encourages others to rise to the call.

Ariama Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about City Hall and local politics for the AmNews Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift today by visiting bit.ly/amnews1