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2018 NOVA Scholarships

The purpose of NOVA Scholarships is to promote the advancement of nursing practice, by providing scholarships in the amount of $1,500 to $3,000 each to qualified nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Eligibility Criteria:
  • Applicant must be a current NOVA member for at least two years.
  • Applicant must be a VA employee, full-time or part-time.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Applicant must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited baccalaureate, masters, post-masters or doctoral program.
  • Applicant must show satisfactory or higher rating on proficiency or performance evaluation.
  • Currently not on restricted or light duty, LWOP, or FMLA.
NOTE: NNEI/EISP, EDRP, and SLRP recipients are eligible to apply for NOVA scholarships.
Eligible Educational Programs:
  • Baccalaureate program in nursing.
  • Masters, post-masters and doctoral programs in nursing, or a related field if applicant has a baccalaureate degree in nursing.
  • All bachelors, masters and post-masters nursing programs must be accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Ineligible Educational Programs:
Diploma or associate degree programs.
Selection Criteria:
  • Completion of three essay questions on application.
  • Academic performance.
  • Recommendations of the Academic Program Director/Dean and VA Nurse Executive.
Length of Award:
2018-2019 academic year. Selected applicants may re-apply in future years.
Application Period: May 1 – June 4, 2018
Application Deadline: June 4, 2018

How to Apply:

Applicants must apply via the online Scholarship Application Form link below. The rules for submission of scholarship applications must be followed.
Before you begin the online application, it is strongly recommended that you review and print a copy of the application form. To open the Word version, please click HERE. Printing out this Word version of the application questions will assist you in gathering needed information prior to completing the online application form. You should develop your essays in a Word processing program and copy/paste the information into the online application format. Each question is limited to 350 words. You MUST complete all three essay questions in order to be considered for a scholarship.

One application per person will be accepted and individuals must apply for themselves only. Only one NOVA scholarship will be awarded to an individual. All applications will be considered for all scholarships: Jesse Brown Memorial Scholarship, Vernice Ferguson Memorial Scholarship, Anthony Principi Scholarship, Catherine Rick Scholarship, Mary Raymer Memorial Scholarship, and other NOVA Scholarships. 

Finalists will be required to provide the following information once notified*:
a. Validation of GPA via a copy of an official transcript (paper or electronic).
b. Copy of current Proficiency or Performance Evaluation.
c. A letter of acceptance from the academic program for which you are receiving the scholarship.
d. A letter of endorsement from the Academic Dean/Designee from the academic program for which you are receiving the scholarship.
e. A letter of endorsement from your current VA Nurse Executive/Designee confirming that you are not on restricted or light duty, LWOP, 
or FMLA. 
*Scholarship funds will not be released until the above documents are received. 
*Do not send these documents unless you receive notification of being awarded a scholarship.  

Click Here to Complete the
NOVA Scholarship Application Form


Catherine J. Rick Scholarship

Catherine (Cathy) J. Rick, RN, PhD (h), NEA-BC, FAAN, FACHE, has over 35 years of experience in clinical, leadership and executive level health care roles. 
During her fourteen year tenure as the Chief Officer, Office of Nursing Services, for the Department of Veterans Affairs (2000-2014), she provided leadership and guidance to VA’s 80,000 nursing personnel, who care for nearly six million veterans each year. 
Ms. Rick is a frequent speaker and publisher on topics related to advancing nursing practice, patient care delivery models, informatics, and leadership principles for all nursing roles. Cathy Rick serves as a Senior Advisor for Nursing Leadership for the Jonas Center.
Cathy Rick has always been a strong supporter of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs. Her "Town Hall" sessions at the NOVA Annual Meetings have always been one of the highlights of the programs. 
NOVA has established a scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in the name of Catherine J. Rick, a transformational leader who has shaped the healthcare for our veterans, our military and our nation.

Anthony J. Principi Scholarship

During his 2001-2005 term as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Anthony J. Principi directed the federal government’s second largest department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for America’s 25-million living veterans and dependents. Mr. Principi has served as Republican chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, counsel to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs (named by President George H.W. Bush), Republican chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and chairman of the Commission on Service members and Veterans Transition Assistance (established by Congress in 1996). 

NOVA has established a scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in the name of Anthony J. Principi, who is a longtime supporter of NOVA and an advocate for VA nurses and veterans.


Vernice Ferguson Memorial Scholarship

Vernice Ferguson, BS, RN, MA, FAAN, FRCN, was known for her leadership role in fostering excellence in nursing care and the nursing profession. She increased awareness of the vital role nurses play in health care research and policy, and contributed enormously to the greater prominence of nurses as leaders in the healthcare community.
Vernice served as a nurse executive at the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institutes of Health, and was the chief nurse at two VA medical centers affiliated with academic health science centers. She was an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom, the second American nurse so honored, and she was a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and past president. Vernice Ferguson was honored as a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing.
NOVA has established a scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in memory of Vernice Ferguson, an exemplary role model whose contributions continue to make an impact on the provisions of health care in the United States and internationally.

Jesse Brown Memorial Scholarship 

The Honorable Jesse Brown (1944-2002) was the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1993 through 1997. As a veteran himself, he spent much time in the VA Medical Centers and Clinics around the country - both as an administrator and a patient. He saw how nurses impact the lives of veterans. He saw the dedication nurses have when it comes to caring for veterans. Secretary Brown, himself, became an advocate for not only veterans, but for nurses committed to serving veterans.  

A special NOVA Scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in the name of Jesse Brown, will be awarded annually to an outstanding VA nurse who demonstrates compassionate, quality care - the same care Secretary Brown and all veterans have come to appreciate and expect in the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Mary Raymer Memorial Scholarship

Mary Raymer, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, was a former NOVA National Board of Directors Member, and a former NOVA Foundation President. She devoted her endless efforts to promote the nursing profession and nursing education. Mary Raymer worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 38 years. She was a member of the American Nurses Association and NARFE. Mary was a Professor of Nursing at the Capella and Phoenix Universities. 

Mary Raymer helped create the Nurse Emeritus Program to entice retired VA nurses to remain engaged in NOVA and VA nursing. She discovered the Soldiers Angels group and developed the Cool Scarf Project to support American troops serving in the Middle East. Mrs. Raymer also initiated the major fundraising project for the NOVA Foundation - "The Heart & Hands Cook Book.” 

The NOVA Nurse Emeritus Group has established a scholarship in the amount of $1,500 in a memory of Mary Raymer, a nurse, an educator and an exemplary role model for all VA nurses.