Renée Pernice Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Renée’s family and friends wanted to honor her memory and nursing passion. It was well known that she derived great joy from being an instructor at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences. Throughout her life, Renée was a very giving person and that was magnified in both her nursing and teaching professions. The family liked the idea of a nursing scholarship, which would allow the family to “give back to others” in the profession that Renée dearly loved. So in the summer of 2009, the Renée Pernice Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri. Each semester the family awards a scholarship to an exceptional student with a passion for nursing. After graduation, the community becomes the beneficiary of a nurse with outstanding academic learning and clinical experience. These recipients have demonstrated a history of serving their patients with respect, empathy and compassion, while advancing the nursing profession through a commitment to innovation, leadership and mentoring.
One of Renée’s colleague’s at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences wrote the following letter to our family: “I am writing now to try to describe what a loss Renée’s death has been. I knew Renée from the day she applied for the teaching position and saw her commitment to her students and the profession of nursing. Renée quietly and very effectively was a model of caring for her students and I know that each of them carries a part of her with them. The impact of her loss is immeasurable. We will never know how many patients and family she ultimately cared for through her students and the void her absence leaves. Renée was a wonderful colleague who made great contributions to a new nursing curriculum we are just now implementing. I am so sad that she isn’t here to see the product of her work. One of Renée’s strongest characteristics was her fairness to students and her ability to work with students needing extra help. She was never judgmental and made every effort to assure their success. Renée was becoming a seasoned educator at the time of her death and the students suffered with her loss. I hope you take some comfort in knowing what a consummate professional Renée was and while she valued her role as an educator, nothing meant more to her than being a mother.”
This letter was further confirmation that the creation of the nursing scholarship in Renée’s memory was the right choice.
A recent winner of the Renée Pernice Memorial Nursing scholarship described the impact the financial assistance had upon her life. She wrote the following message:
“It is a struggle to find adequate words of thanks for your generous scholarship award. I am humbled and honored to be chose the recipient in honor of your beloved Renée. I am a single mom of four children. I am pursuing my nursing education “later in life” as a means to support my family and follow a life-long dream. Through this challenging journey, I have found courage where I once felt defeat. I have found perseverance where I once felt a sense of hopelessness. I have found laughter and a renewed spirit in all of the faces of the patients I touch. Your donation to my education has helped provide future stability to my children and a purpose to their mother. My dream of nursing is soon to be a reality. Please know that every dollar gifted helps provide a better future to those I love most, and for that, words aren’t enough. I will forever carry your generosity of spirit forward!”