Now in its eighth year, The University of Akron Cameos of Caring™ continues to promote excellence in nursing while supporting a scholarship endowment for deserving students within the College. Since Dr. Cynthia Flynn Capers brought the Cameos of Caring program to The University of Akron, 26 deserving students have been funded through this scholarship keeping the dream of a nursing career alive despite economic hardship.
One of the 2009 scholarship recipients, Megan Hinton, had this to say about her award, “When I was notified that I had been chosen to receive the Cameos of Caring scholarship it meant a lot to me. It was like another stepping stone that I needed in order to pursue my career in nursing. It let me know that someone other than my parents, relatives, and friends believed that I had a shot at being a nurse. The scholarship gives me the push that other people are counting on me, and they are willing to spend their time and money to help not only make my dreams come true but to help make this world a better place.”
Margaret Blough, RN, the second scholarship recipient, echoed her thinking, “I am thrilled and humbled to be a recipient of the generous Cameos of Caring scholarship. At the Gala, I was energized and inspired by the award recipients and their commitment to excellence in nursing. Cameos of Caring has helped reinforce my desire to continue my nursing education with the goal of one day working to educate and inspire more young men and women into becoming skilled, compassionate nurses of distinction.”
The 2009 Cameos of Caring Gala attracted almost 600 people and honored 14 nurses from 12 area hospitals and clinics. Families, friends and co-workers enjoyed an evening that celebrated excellence in bedside nursing.
The original Cameos of Caring begun at the University of Pittsburgh has served as a model for the successful program at The University of Akron College of Nursing. In addition to the 26 scholarship recipients that have benefitted from Cameos of Caring, 98 bedside nurses from the region’s key hospitals and clinics have been recognized for their contribution to patient care and for their role in helping nursing retain its role as the country’s most ethical profession.
Beyond the recognition, the Cameos of Caring Alumni in the Akron area have committed themselves to continuing the outreach they began as Cameos of Caring Ambassadors. Recognizing the power of their combined voices, these past winners have formed the Cameos of Caring Alumni group to extend the reach of nursing into more area schools and agencies in an effort to engage the next generation of nurses. These Alumni now meet regularly to help define its ambassadorship agenda for the region.
The University of Akron’s Cameos of Caring program has established itself as a positive force in promoting the area’s nurses and nursing profession. By helping enhance the visibility of nurses in Akron and throughout Northeast Ohio, The University of Akron College of Nursing is further committing itself to lessening the country’s critical nursing shortage.
“The University of Akron College of Nursing has focused our efforts in not only enrolling more students,” explains Dr. Margaret Wineman, Dean of the College of Nursing, “but in providing each of these potential nurses with the tools to transform the lives of their patients. This approach seems to be working for us. In 2009, our pass rate on the national nursing licensing exam, NCLEX exam was about 95%, while 100% of our Nurse Anesthesia graduates passed their certification exam. Our master’s level students in our nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist programs do equally as well.”
As the nursing shortage continues to manifest itself in Ohio and across the nation, The University of Akron College of Nursing will continue to make a significant contribution in helping to ease this crisis.