Sophomore nursing major Allison Kim was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by Wanderly, a travel nursing company, on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The check was presented by Kelley Johnson, chief nurse advocate for Wanderly.
Johnson, a registered nurse, won the title of Miss Colorado and received second runner-up in Miss America in 2015. She is known for delivering a monologue about her nursing experience instead of doing a traditional performance for the talent portion of the contest. When Johnson’s monologue received criticism, the nursing community rallied behind her in support. Wanderly created the “Nurse Kelley” Scholarship to encourage aspiring nurses.
“Nursing is incredibly hard. [It’s] being willing to take care of complete strangers for our career and not ask for anything in return,” Johnson said. “It is a talent to have the compassion of a nurse.”
Wanderly selected Kim for the Nurse Kelley Scholarship based on her essay about why she wants to become a nurse.
“We were looking for an essay that [showed the] true understanding of what nursing is and why someone would choose to be a part of nursing. [Kim’s] essay really spoke to the meaning of why nurses do what we do every day,” Johnson said.
Kim said that she was drawn to the field because she saw firsthand how it affected the lives of individuals.
“My father is a nurse, and the way that he shows care and compassion for complete strangers has always inspired me,” Kim said. “Beyond that, I’ve heard it said that there are two ways to shine light: one is to be a candle and the other is to be a mirror. I believe nursing is a way I get to be a candle and show God’s light to people who are suffering.”
In addition to being in the nursing program, Kim is in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). In the future, she hopes to join the nursing branch of the army.
“I am motivated by a sense of duty and compassion, and hope to take that beyond just the clinical and hospital setting,” Kim said.
Barbara Wiltsey, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program coordinator, said being a nurse requires more than just medical knowledge.
“Being a nurse is challenging because it’s about caretaking—it’s more than just medical treatment,” Wiltsey said. “Connection with the patients is just as important, and [Kim] understands that. She will have a great opportunity to love on patients and show them God’s light wherever she goes.”