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Striving for More

Financial Aid Helps Nurse Help Others

After coming to America from Kenya, Africa, nine years ago, critical care nurse John Maru, R.N., now finds himself on the verge of achieving an important personal goal – graduating from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne with a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) in May 2016. With the help of scholarships through the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation, John is honing his knowledge and skills to best serve patients in our community.

EGH Foundation Appeal
John Maru, R.N.

John’s Journey

Although he originally set out to use his associate’s degrees in business and finance from Southwest Minnesota State University, John discovered the work wasn’t personally satisfying. He took a second job working in home health care and found his niche.

“My dad was the biggest influence when I was young — I used to watch and help him take care of my greatgrandmother,” John explained. “He assisted her with the activities of daily living since we do not have nursing homes in my village and we have to take care of our own family.”

Finding that he enjoyed the medical field, John went on to receive a certified nursing assistant license and took a job in a nursing home.

Still wanting to achieve more, he moved to Goshen, Indiana, to attend nursing school at IVY Tech. He also joined the Elkhart General Hospital team in 2011 as a nursing assistant on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.

“I had to work full-time while going to school full-time because that was the only way I could support myself and pay for school,” says John. “When I applied for and got the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation scholarship, it was a huge relief because I was able to cut down the hours I worked and focus more on school.”

In summer 2014, John worked on the Critical Care Unit through the student nurse assistant program and truly found his place in health care. After graduating with an associate’s degree in nursing in May 2015, he accepted a position on the unit as a registered nurse. As he now nears completion of his RN-BSN degree, again assisted by a scholarship from the Foundation, John reflects on what nursing means to him:

“I always have a smile every time I come in to work because it makes me happy,” says John. “I enjoy what I do on a daily basis, especially bedside patient care and when a patient is satisfied with the care that I provide. The best part of my day is when the patient and their family are appreciative of what I do and also when I see really sick patients get better.”

Making the Connection -Nursing Scholarships

The Foundation supports Elkhart General Hospital nurses — like John — in achieving their bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN). Recent studies show that hospitals with more BSN-educated nurses have a decrease in patient readmissions as well as shorter lengths of stays.

John’s manager, Leigh Poeppelman R.N., MSN, CCRN, Director of Critical Care and IVT, sees a very bright future for him.

“He is so compassionate with his patients and truly puts them at the center,” says Leigh. “Increased education will enhance his confidence and his hunger for knowledge. John will go far.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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