As we face the coronavirus pandemic, Sharp HealthCare's nursing workforce stands strong. Sound leadership and advanced educational opportunities have helped prepare Sharp's care team for whatever comes through our doors.
The Sharp Terrence and Barbara Caster Institute for Nursing Excellence, formerly the Center of Nursing Excellence established in 2008, is one way Sharp contributes to the future of nursing and helps nurses reach their full potential — and their professional dreams. The Institute provides scholarship assistance, funded through donations, for those seeking a bachelor's, master's or doctorate in nursing from an accredited program.
"The Institute advances the practice of nursing through initiatives such as financial support for advanced degrees and research, ultimately improving patient care," says the Institute's vice president Laurie Ecoff, PhD, RN.
"It is an honor to be a part of this partnership," says Terrence Caster, founder of the Caster Group, whose charitable operations benefit people around the world. "Barbara and I, although she is not here now, love Sharp and its people. Our parents taught us that what goes around comes around; that has paid off."
Scholarship recipients are equally honored:
"Receiving a scholarship from the Caster Institute allowed me to obtain an MSN from Point Loma Nazarene University and ultimately become state certified as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). I'm excited about the daily opportunities I have to serve Sharp's patients, nurses and the organization at large with my newly acquired skills and knowledge."
— Michael Froeberg, RN, MSN, clinical nurse specialist at Sharp Memorial Hospital
"As I embarked on the journey to earn my PhD in nursing at the University of San Diego in 2011, becoming the first recipient to receive a scholarship was a great honor. It signified the importance Sharp places on advanced education, and the value of my contribution to the organization every day."
— Deene Mollon, PhD, RN, director of Progressive Care at Sharp Grossmont Hospital
"The Institute communicates that Sharp values continuing education, believes in our employees' capabilities, and trusts that our development will contribute to our vision to be the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care — and to work together to enhance the delivery of care in San Diego for everyone."
— Bri DuBose, MHI, RN, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Clinical Effectiveness, Sharp HealthCare
"Early on in my nursing career, I enjoyed being in leadership. These scholarships were pivotal in my career. I was able to become a nursing manager and encourage others to go back to school."
— Lisa Lofton, MSN, RNC-OB, manager of Labor and Delivery, Triage, PSCU and ADC at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns
"When I started at Sharp 15 years ago, I didn't know if I would ever be able to afford to go back to school or what my nursing career would entail. Having the monetary help behind me was enormous. And being recognized as a scholar gave me the courage to move forward."
— Christina Kelley, DNP, RN, clinical nurse specialist in Critical Care at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
"It's truly an honor to have received a scholarship from the Institute. I am in my last semester at the University of San Diego, Hahn School of Nursing, and will graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. When I started the program, I was a senior specialist in Quality and Patient Safety at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Having the scholarship helped me complete the graduate program and, in March, I was promoted."
— Hazel Blackwood, BSN, RN-BC, director of Quality Improvement for Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers
Learn more about how philanthropy supports nurse education programs at Sharp HealthCare.