Student receives nursing scholarship

Nursing DNP student Lisa Wilson.

A current student in the UNH Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Lisa Wilson, recently received an $8,000 nursing scholarship from the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, which plays a central role in empowering nurse educators in America.

Lisa was one of only eight students in the United States chosen for this scholarship.

With a prior bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, Lisa was inspired to study for a master’s degree in social work at UNH after suffering a near-death experience during the birth of her second child. During her first semester in her M.S.W., however, her education plans made an unexpected shift when the professor suggested that, given her strong medical interest, nursing might be a more satisfying choice.

Struck by his perceptive advice, Lisa immediately applied to UNH’s direct entry master’s of nursing program (DEMN)  and “loved every minute of it.” In fact, Lisa was part of the inaugral class of the DEMN program. Fourteen years after graduating from the DEMN program she went back to UNH in the doctorate of nursing practice program to fullfill her dream of getting her doctoral degree.

Her love of teaching came alive in Lisa’s clinical hours during her master's studies at UNH. She vividly recalls her professors encouraging their students to help each other learn nursing skills: “I let my classmate take my blood pressure 20 times in one day!”

Learning and discovery are her ongoing passions so Lisa’s energetic personality was attracted to the challenge of the self-directed pace of online study. “You are in charge of your own learning.”

One of her daughter’s childhood memories is the image of her mom night after night studying in pursuit of her dream. That same daughter is now an online student at Southern New Hampshire University. After earning her her M.S. in Nursing, Lisa worked at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H., and later accepted a full-time teaching position at Colby Sawyer College. Inspired by her mentors at UNH, Lisa joined the online faculty at SNHU in 2018, where she enjoys the unique challenges of teaching online.

“UNH changed my world.” Lisa underscores the incredible support from her UNH professors who are committed to the success of their students. She points to this mentorship as the inspiration for her own teaching approach, citing doctors Pelletier, Harkless, Fetzer and Dinapoli as the four cornerstones of her nursing education and as role models for her own teaching career.

Although she will complete the doctor of nursing program in December 2019, Lisa paints a happy picture of herself in UNH cap and gown at the graduation ceremony next May.

“Believe in yourself and just do it!” advises Lisa. One day she hopes to become a dean at the university level. “Teaching is my heart and soul and what I live for every day.”

Lisa’s advice to students looking at online programs: “It’s all about timing and what works for your life."

She thinks that self-driven and independent students are the most successful online learners because they plan their schedule, work ahead on assignments and, most importantly, lean on their support systems at home and at school.

Asked why she chose to earn her DNP online, Lisa replies that UNH Online programs have an established end date, which was an important milestone for her career plans. The university’s program quality has exceeded her expectations and the UNH Online distance learning model has served her busy lifestyle well.

Lisa first fell in love with New Hampshire during a skiiing vacation and never looked back as she conquered mountain after mountain. If you ever doubt your ability to succeed in achieving your dreams, have a chat with Lisa. She will inspire you to “just keep on climbing that mountain.”