When Julie Woodside was 5 years old, she would gather her dolls together and act out her favorite pasttime—as a nurse.
Little wonder then that Woodside, 58, went on to become a senior scrub nurse at UC Health University Hospital, where she still goes to work two days a week with the satisfaction of providing compassionate care.
Knowing that passion for nursing, and her equally great love of learning, her husband, Frank Woodside, decided that the best way to honor his wife’s personal and professional commitment to quality health care was to gift the UC College of Nursing with a $250,000 endowment, funded over five years, to help future nursing students achieve their highest potential as well.
The gift specifically endows the RN Educational Mobility Program, which assists nurses with advancing their careers.
“When I saw an opportunity to make a gift so that others could do what she had done, I thought it was appropriate,” says Frank, a 1973 College of Medicine graduate who is also a trial lawyer.
What Julie did was eventually earn a master’s in nursing, but over a period of 20 years—a time that included working part time and raising a family.
“I’ve always gone to school, and I love learning. We are a very academic family,” she says of beginning with a nursing diploma from St. Elizabeth in 1971 and then graduating from UC with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN) in 1996. She holds her master’s in nursing from Xavier University (class of 2002) with a track in forensic medicine.
“The degree status is very important to hospitals now as they seek to identify the excellence of their nursing staffs with a greater proportion of nurses who hold BSNs,” says Jan Dyehouse, PhD, interim director of the mobility program.
The BSN, she says, allows the nurse to apply evidenced-based practices borne out in current literature and is the foundation for becoming an advanced practice nurse, such as with nurse practitioners—a position for which there is a high demand.
To accommodate these increasing professional standards, the college offers the traditional full-time BSN program at the Procter Hall location, which takes about two years to complete, and flexible, part-time course work at UC’s Raymond Walters College and at two on-site programs at Jewish and Christ hospitals.
“I am very pleased that Mr. and Mrs. Woodside gave such a generous endowment to meet the needs of the RN mobility students,” says Andrea Lindell, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing.
“People don’t typically think to give money to this program because these students are already registered nurses coming back to obtain a baccalaureate degree,” adds Lindell.
The gift, Julie says, was a complete surprise to her aside from little conversation slips on the way to the celebratory dinner.
“He just thought it would be nice for me, and he was right,” she says, noting: “There’s a lot of nursing potential out there and a lot of nurses who are struggling. This is for them, too.”
To learn more about the RN Educational Mobility Program, visit nursing.uc.edu.