UAH’s freshman nursing program – and scholarships – encourage excellence from day one


UAH administrators and College of Nursing faculty welcomed Bryant Bank executives at a reception last month honoring the eight freshman recipients of the 2015 Bryant Bank Excellence in Nursing Scholarship.

Michael Mercier | UAH

This fall, the College of Nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) welcomed its first cohort into the Early Promotion into UAH Nursing Program (EPNP). Open to high-achieving incoming freshmen and offered in partnership with UAH's Honors College, the EPNP enables those who successfully complete their lower-division nursing coursework at UAH to move on to the upper division without submitting an application for admission to those courses. Participants also receive additional academic support and advanced preparation for their upper-division coursework.

"The benefits of the cohort model of education are well known and typically result in greater academic success and more timely graduation rates," says Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, Dean of the College of Nursing. "Thus, by encouraging students to begin their nursing education at UAH as freshmen, the EPNP allows those enrolled to reap the rewards of being in a cohort - not to mention those that come from continuity in one's academic career - long before they enter the upper division of their studies."

Because of the stringent criteria required for admission, everyone accepted into the EPNP is eligible for financial assistance through UAH's merit tuition scholarship program by default. They also have the option of applying for one of the 400 or so competitive scholarships that UAH offers, though only the very best are considered for the Bryant Bank UAH Excellence in Nursing Scholarship (BBENS). "Of the 44 students selected for the EPNP's first fall cohort, only eight were chosen to receive the BBENS," says Dr. Adams. "So it is very prestigious."

The BBENS covers tuition and fees and is funded through a $3 million commitment from Bryant Bank in Huntsville . In addition to meeting the EPNP criteria, applicants must also have graduated from an Alabama high school or have been homeschooled in Alabama. The award is then renewable for three additional years if the student maintains a 3.25 GPA for their lower division coursework and achieves an overall cumulative score of at least 80% (vs 70% for non-scholarship recipients) on the upper-division entrance exam.

This year's BBENS recipients - Adriana Ayala, Colleen Dunn, Savannah Mattern, Sophie Sapp, Sierra Stanley, Megan Webb, Crystal Whitehouse, and Dana Zahran - were informed long before they arrived on campus to begin their freshman year. But recently, they had the unique opportunity to express their appreciation for the generous award in person. At a reception held late last month in the new College of Nursing Building, Bryant Bank's President Ken Watson and executives Mike Johnston, Chris Lindsey, Diane Carrasquillo were hosted by UAH President Dr. Robert Altenkirch, Vice President of Advancement Robert Lyon, Dean Adams, Associate Dean Dr. Karen Frith, and Executive Director of the College's Learning Technology and Resource Center Dr. Lori Lioce.

"The reception offered a time for the scholarship recipients to meet with Bryant Bank representatives and to discuss their dreams and aspirations regarding the nursing profession and their future role as professional nurses," says Dean Adams. "The College of Nursing is so grateful to have this opportunity to partner with Bryant Bank. I am looking forward to welcoming our next fall cohort thanks to Bryant Bank's support."



UAH’s College of Nursing