When Ann Brown, BSN ‘73, MSN, CNM, began to think about supporting student scholarships at the UNC School of Nursing, she had more than their futures in mind. She was also thinking about the future of nursing itself.
“Nurses have an important role in helping people improve their health in this state, especially in areas that are underserved. We’re a really important part of preventing disease and fostering a healthy population.”
Excellent education and training are financial commitments, she says. And, if money is in the way, nursing as a profession can suffer. She knew by removing financial barriers for students, she could open doors to the opportunities they need to excel in nursing and make a difference in the lives of others.
Brown is a certified nurse midwife with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, N.C., which was established in 1974 to improve healthcare across Western North Carolina. Brown has served on the board of the School of Nursing Alumni Association, and she enjoys interacting with students and learning from them – and learning what they need.
“When I served on the School’s alumni board, I was part of the scholarship committee. I was really struck when reading the applications for scholarships that it was truly a challenge for so many of them to come to nursing school,” she says.
Brown decided to include the School of Nursing in a bequest, which earmarks a portion of her estate as a financial gift for the School as a legacy for not only the students’ educational experiences, but also the exceptional quality of care she knows they will contribute to the state of North Carolina and beyond.
“It takes a lot of time, energy and expense for young professionals to be well-trained and well-educated. The training includes a fair amount of hands-on work, and getting that experience carries an expense,” she says. “I wanted to do whatever I could to make a difference in their educations at Carolina because I want our nurses to go out into our profession equipped to provide the best care possible.”