Out of hundreds of applicants for scholarships from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Foundation, one GPNA student at Texas Wesleyan was selected for the honor. Caitlin O’Connor, currently working on her Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia was chosen from a national pool of candidates.
“I was honestly shocked when I received the announcement,” O’Connor said. “There were over 2500 nurse anesthesia students who applied this year from all over the United States and I figured as a first-year student my chances were pretty low.“
O’Connor, a former Army nurse who still serves in the Reserve, acknowledged the significant time and financial commitment that higher education takes. She said a scholarship like this gives her a bit more peace of mind.
“The support that I have received from the Graduate Programs for Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Wesleyan has certainly led to this accomplishment,” O’Connor said. “I will be very proud to represent Texas Wesleyan University in Boston at the Annual AANA Congress to accept the award.”
O’Connor will travel to Boston this September and hopes her story inspires others to apply for scholarships as well.
“They’re out there and available, people just have to take a leap and try for them,” O’Connor said.
She will graduate in the fall of 2019.