Donors to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital make education possible for some of the best and brightest nursing students in the region. Each year, generous donors provide more than 70 scholarships to the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College so students can translate their compassion, dedication and skill into world-class care for patients.
For Bree McBride, RN, BSN, the decision to become a nurse had roots in her family.
Between heart problems, fibromyalgia and other ailments, Bree’s father made frequent visits to medical facilities throughout her childhood, and the experience wasn’t always positive. But during some of her family’s most trying times, compassionate nurses gave her father comfort and hope, and inspired Bree to follow in their footsteps.
“The best feeling I had as a child came from seeing a smile on my dad’s face after he came home from the hospital,” Bree says. “At the time, I only knew to associate his happiness with successful doctor’s visits. The nurses made a big difference in the way we felt as a family and helped my father feel more at ease. I want to be able to do that for other people.”
Bree saved for tuition, but her family’s finances were focused on her father’s medical expenses, leaving a critical financial gap.
“When I opened the scholarship letter from Goldfarb, I just started crying,” Bree says. “I gave it to my mom and she started crying, and then I showed it to my boyfriend and he started crying. I kept reading it over and over. I thought to myself, ‘Oh wow, this is really happening.’ Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to afford nursing school.”
Eventually, she wants to become a nurse practitioner and serve an underprivileged community and donate to a scholarship fund for another deserving student at Goldfarb.
“I’ve learned firsthand about how a scholarship can change the life of someone who thought they didn’t have a chance to achieve their dreams,” she says. “Now, I want to be the nurse who makes my patients say ‘she made me feel like I was the only one who mattered at the time.’ No matter what, each patient deserves respect and care.”