NEWPORT — North Country Hospital’s Scholarship Review Committee selected longtime nurse, Rhonda Howard to receive the first $2,000 continuing education scholarship from the newly established Sheryl M. (Washburn) and Buddy L. Carter Nursing Scholarship Fund.
Rhonda began her career in the U.S. Army as a flight medic and then a flight nurse. After serving eight years in the military, Rhonda started working as an LPN on the medical/surgical floor at NCH in 1997. She completed her associate degree in Nursing and became an RN and charge nurse. After several years, she transitioned to the Intensive Care Unit, when she completed her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and became a Critical Care Certified Nurse. She also served as the ICU educator during that time. She then transitioned to the education department as a nurse educator. She has also worked as a clinical manager of the med/surg floor and ICU.
Rhonda commented, “My love for education pulled me back to the education department where I currently work as a clinical nurse educator. Through the years I have also worked as an adjunct clinical instructor for the Vermont Technical College nursing programs. My career goal is to complete my master’s degree in Nursing Education, and when I learned of this scholarship award, I was so grateful. This is the first scholarship I have ever received, since much of my higher education was paid for through the military.”
“This new scholarship fund is a welcome addition to our program here at North Country Hospital,” added Wendy Franklin, director of Communications & Foundation.
Sheryl Washburn was vice president of Patient Care Services at NCH from 2008 through 2013. She had a passion for rural healthcare and rural nursing. She was especially interested in supporting Northeast Kingdom residents to seek nursing degrees and subsequently provide nursing care in local healthcare settings. Sheryl loved one-to-one mentoring of novice nursing leaders and fostered their growth into being role models and mentors for their staff. She and her husband, Buddy, chose to establish this scholarship fund to further these efforts. She also seeks to honor the memory of her late husband, John Washburn, who benefited from NCH nursing care prior to his death in 2013.