Nursing Students Awarded Humboldt General 'Hanssen' Scholarship

Two nursing students say a scholarship award is both the emotional and monetary boost they need to make it through the coming two years of college.

Kylie Lewis and Jenny Setzer began studying toward their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing last month at Great Basin College. Both women hope to be full-fledged registered nurses by May 2020—but first they’ll have to clear some significant hurdles, including paying for college.

That’s why both women were elated to learn they are recipients of the 2018 Ed and Mollie Hanssen scholarship that is awarded each year by Humboldt General Hospital. The scholarship provides $1,000 per semester—money that can pay for tuition, books or even school-related expenses.

If there’s a catch to the scholarship, said HGH Chief Nursing Officer Darlene Bryan, it’s a good one: “We want our recipients to commit to come back and work at HGH.” Bryan said that initial commitment is one way HGH can honor the scholarship’s namesakes.

Mollie Hanssen, a nurse, died in February 2004; Ed, a former HGH administrator and nurse anesthetist, unexpectedly passed away five months later. Their son, Allan, established the Ed and Mollie Hanssen Scholarship Fund in both their memories.

Allan Hanssen said at the time that his parents “were both very dedicated to Humboldt General Hospital and the people there. They helped support [the hospital] as well as the medical community; that was important to them.”

Hanssen also said local health professionals’ continued education and hard work would propel this area’s medical community forward—which is what his parents would have wanted.

While the actual Hanssen monies were exhausted several years ago, Humboldt General Hospital opted to continue the scholarship in the Hanssen name.

Kylie Lewis has worked as a certified nursing assistant at the Harmony Manor Skilled Nursing and Residential Care Community since 2016. She said that even though she loves her job, she has always wanted to study nursing “because it is an honorable and fulfilling profession.”

Kylie comes from a long line of nurses; her father was also a medic in the army. Not only that, but her mother is also studying to be a nurse through Great Basin College.

Recently, while caring for her grandfather who was dying of cancer, Kylie said: “As hard as it was, I felt very fulfilled with making his end of life more comfortable.”

She added, “I look forward to this career knowing it is full of excitement, diversity and personal rewards.”

Jenny Setzer has worked in the healthcare industry for the past 13 years. While she enjoyed the experience of approaching healthcare from the administrative side, she said, “It did not bring me the joy I have felt in direct patient care.”

That, along with the amazing and dedicated support of her family, is what finally propelled her to seek her nursing degree. Jenny said her goal is to merge her coming reality with the vision she has of a nursing professional—of a compassionate and strong leader who makes patient care a priority.

Jenny’s CNA instructor believes Jenny is well on her way: “She was an enthusiastic student in my CNA class and one of those who possesses great intelligence and a cheerful personality. These traits, I believe, will make her a great nurse someday.”

Bryan, who interviewed the candidates along with three other nursing leaders, said both women were very impressive in their presentations, their past history and their future ambitions.

“We thought both of them have great potential as future RNs,” she said.