A Lasting Legacy

Publish Date: 1/30/2015

Every year the AORN Foundation awards over 70 individual academic scholarships to deserving nursing students. Many of these scholarships are funded through an endowment established by a specific individual or corporate donor. Donations to the AORN Foundation that establish an endowed scholarship fund will provide financial support for students in perpetuity, as the principal amount of the gift is never spent and grows year to year.

A very dedicated AORN member and donor, Patricia (“Trish”) C. Seifert, MSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA(e), FAAN, of Falls Church, Virginia established an endowed scholarship fund in 2000 as the Patricia C. Seifert Endowed Scholarship. She recently shared with us the importance of her endowed scholarship.

Why was it important to you to establish an endowed scholarship with the AORN Foundation? 

My Mother was always supportive of scholarships and libraries – she was ardent about promoting learning and scholarship. She often told me that whenever I had any ‘extra’ funds, to use them to help others to learn and succeed. Helping others to succeed – whether as a mentor, financial supporter, or cheerleader is an important role, especially for those of us who have benefitted from the generosity of others.

What is the most rewarding part of establishing the endowed scholarship? 

I strongly believe that access to education is a basic right and anything that helps individuals to learn and grow not only empowers them but also improves the greater community. It’s rewarding to play a small role in helping others to learn. I benefited myself from AORN Foundation scholarships and I like to think that AORN has received some return on their investment in me. In a nutshell, AORN, its members, and our patients and clients benefit.

What is your hope for the future of those who your scholarship supports? 

It is my hope that scholarship recipients use their education and associated knowledge and experience to 1) demonstrate how we improve patient outcomes through our research and practice, and, 2) why our practice as perioperative nurses is vital to society. Both these objectives require in-depth knowledge, collaboration, and the ability to articulate and measure our value. Our organization – AORN – can only and grow stronger with members obtaining more education and applying that learning to articulate our value to society.

Please contact Twilla Barlow, Foundation Director, at tbarlow@aorn.org to learn more about establishing an endowed scholarship.