CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – A career in nursing isn’t for the faint of heart.
Instead, nurses must possess great strength of heart – with the capacity to care for patients in their most vulnerable moments and resilience to overcome that some patients won’t get better.
Also, a sharp mind to make split-second decisions in the interest of a patient’s best possible outcome. An intuition to know when something just doesn’t seem right and investigate.
The late Kristin Runyon, who was a nurse at Chambersburg Hospital, embodied these characteristics. Now, two local nursing students have received scholarships in memory of Runyon as they work to continue the tradition of compassionate care.
Meaghan Cashdollar of Chambersburg and Kaitlin Ganoe of Greencastle recently were each awarded a Kristin Runyon Memorial Scholarship and said it is an honor to have been selected.
“It will be a great help toward tuition and future educational expenses,” said Ganoe, who is enrolled in Penn State Mont Alto’s bachelor of nursing program and will graduate in May 2018.
Ganoe was drawn to nursing after a lifelong interest in the field and the variety of specialties she could pursue.
“The medical field is always changing and progressing into the future with new technology, and (the) advancements have always excited me,” she added.
Ganoe said she hopes to make a difference in the lives of those in her care.
“Being able to touch the lives of patients and their families is rewarding to me.”
For Cashdollar, the desire to pursue a medical career came naturally; her father has been a longtime oncologist in Chambersburg and most of her siblings have entered careers in health care.
However, her decision to become a nurse didn’t occur until 2015 when she was a patient for several weeks in the Intensive-Care and Critical-Care units at Chambersburg Hospital.
After becoming the patient and enduring months of rehabilitation, Cashdollar decided to transition from her physical therapist studies to focus on nursing.
“I was on the receiving end of nursing and it inspired me to have a career change,” Cashdollar explained.
She is currently enrolled in Penn State’s Accelerated Second Degree BSN program and will graduate in December 2017.
“I hope to impact their (patients’) lives in the way mine was impacted. It is an honor and privilege to receive this scholarship,” Cashdollar added.
About the scholarship
The scholarship was created in memory of Runyon for students enrolled full-time in a registered nurse education program. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 2.8 and live in Franklin County or the surrounding area.
“We had so many qualified applicants this year,” said Barb Runyon, Kristin Runyon’s mother who spearheads the scholarship committee. “We’re very pleased to offer two scholarships for the first time to Kaitlin and Meaghan. Both candidates represent the qualities and attributes of a nursing professional and will be assets in providing compassionate care to patients.”
Applications for the 2018 scholarship are available from the Summit Health Development Department or online.
Applicants should submit a cover letter, scholarship application, official transcript, one academic and one clinical letter of reference to the Summit Health Development Office, 785 Fifth Ave., or KRMS@SummitHealth.org by June 30, 2018.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.