Harris steps up to support students

Lindsay Harris scholarship

By Hunter Carter

Passion is defined as having a strong and barely controllable emotion for someone or something, and for alumna Lindsey Harris, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC (MSN 2011, DNP 2016), that passion is improving the nursing profession and helping current and future nurses reach their fullest potential.

Harris decided one of the best ways to improve the nursing profession was to establish an endowed scholarship to support underrepresented students fulfilling their dreams of becoming a nurse. Harris established a joint scholarship with the Alabama State Nurses Association, the Lindsey M. Harris, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC – Alabama State Nurses Association Endowed Nursing Scholarship.

“I have dedicated my life to nursing,” said Harris. “It means a lot to me that I am able to provide students with an opportunity to not only follow their dreams toward becoming a nurse but also positively impact the lives of the patients they serve.”

The scholarship is open to students living in Alabama who are in good academic standing, currently enrolled in or admitted to the UAB School of Nursing and who plan to practice in Alabama after graduating. Harris’s main goal for the scholarship is to promote diversity in nursing by awarding the scholarship to students who are underrepresented in the field and that support the School’s goal of promoting a diverse student body.

“I want to help the underrepresented students aspiring to become nurses,” said Harris. “What I have seen is that some students are limited due to financial constraints, and my hopes are that this scholarship will relieve that problem for generations to come.”

Harris, who was elected as the first African American to serve as president of the ASNA, recalls how the joint scholarship came to be from a conversation with ASNA Executive Director John Ziegler, D.Min, MA, BA.

“I was talking to John out of the blue about establishing a scholarship in the School of Nursing, not even thinking about any sort of partnership between the ASNA and myself,” said Harris. “While John and I were talking, though, he not only encouraged me to go through with it but added that the ASNA would match the funds. The conversation was confirmation for me and immediately I was all in on establishing this scholarship.”

Ziegler, who has served as Executive Director of ASNA since 2012, has dedicated his career to lobbying for the 93,000+ nurses in Alabama and helping provide them the voice they deserve. Since joining the ASNA, Ziegler has made a push to establish nursing scholarships at universities across the state.

“The ASNA has been able to raise a lot of money through our car tag sales and because of that, our sister organization, the Alabama Nurses Foundation, has been looking to do matching gifts to establish scholarships to promote nursing and nursing education,” said Ziegler. “When Lindsey brought up wanting to establish a scholarship to help promote underrepresented nursing students, I knew this was something that we had to back.”

Since graduating from the UAB School of Nursing, Harris has broken barriers and served as a role model for nurses across Alabama. She is a nurse practitioner on the Inpatient Glycemic Team at UAB Hospital and before serving as president of the ASNA, was the president of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association. Harris was recognized as one of the 70th Anniversary Visionary Leaders in the UAB School of Nursing in Spring 2021, where she was honored for her exemplary leadership, innovation and far-reaching impact on nursing and health care.

Last modified on January 28, 2022

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