Banner employee, nursing student receives helping hand - Your West Valley News: Topstory

Banner employee, nursing student receives helping hand

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Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 8:30 am

Glendale resident Keanna Eddings, a patient care assistant at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, is getting a little help with her goal of becoming a registered nurse thanks to a scholarship from the non-profit organization Helping Hands for Single Moms.

The 31-year-old began nursing school this semester at Glendale Community College — something she never thought she’d be able to afford on her own. Eddings is a single mother of four children, ages 11, 9, 8 and 5.

Eddings joins nine other single mothers who are attending nursing school at Glendale Community College with a scholarship from Helping Hands for Single Moms. The organization is a community-based nonprofit that assists impoverished single-mom families while the moms are pursuing a college education and financial independence. Though the group has provided scholarships to students in a variety of disciplines, executive director Chris Coffman emphasized that nursing school has become a priority in recent years.

“Last year, 100 percent of our 16 scholarships were awarded to nursing school students,” Coffman said.

The organization is helping Eddings and her family in other ways as well. The group provides her with mentoring and networking opportunities, helps her family with monthly expenses and even took Eddings and her children to a recent Arizona Cardinals game.

 “I’m truly blessed,” Eddings said. “It was the only way I could go to nursing school. It’s a great opportunity and lets you know even though you’re a single mom, you’re supported and you can make it. A lot of people don’t know there’s help out there.”

In addition to being matched with a nurse mentor through the program, Eddings said she is also getting a lot of support from her colleagues at Banner Boswell. “Everyone’s here to help. They know what I’m going through and have already started offering me support and advice.”

Eddings’ goal is to become a registered nurse then continue her education to become a nurse practitioner. She sees the value she places on education already rubbing off on her children.

“My older two kids won’t stop talking about college. They see me studying and they study a lot, too,” Eddings said. “They know you have to keep going. You can’t stop learning.”

For information on health care careers at Banner Health, visit www.bannerhealth.com/careers. To learn about Helping Hands for Single Moms, visit www.helpinghandsforsinglemoms.org.

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