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Nursing scholarships improve patient care, build future for families

SF_wcapSoledad Fratis is a registered nurse in the Orthopedic Unit at Providence St. Peter Hospital. She is well-respected as a nurse and co-worker, a recipient of the hospital’s Spirit Award, and serving on numerous nursing councils and committees to ensure excellence in patient care. But her journey hasn’t been easy. Soledad gave birth to her son, David, at the age of fourteen. She says, “I was a teenage mother who everyone saw as a failure.” But Soledad persevered. She stayed in school and graduated high school with the highest GPA of her entire class, earning the recognition of school valedictorian. Read more.

After high school, Soledad pursued an associate’s degree, and began working at Providence St. Peter Hospital in 2007. Providence St. Peter Hospital is a “Magnet®” hospital, recognizing top health care organizations in the nation for providing nursing excellence. Only two other hospitals in Washington State, the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, have garnered this top honor.

Soledad is driven by goal setting, which keeps her focused and motivated. She began attending Saint Martin’s University to achieve her bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), and received a scholarship to assist with her education. Providence St. Peter Foundation has funded scholarships for nursing students at Saint Martin’s University, as well as South Puget Sound Community College. Board President, Dan Davidson, D.D.S., says, “Funding scholarships to help nurses obtain a bachelor’s degree helps everyone in our community by raising the level of care our nurses provide.”

Part of meeting the requirements for Magnet® hospitals is to increase the percentage of bachelor-trained nurses. According to the Institute of Medicine, BSN Nurses have “a wider range of competencies in such arenas as health policy and health care financing, community and public health, leadership, quality improvement, and systems thinking.”

Soledad graduates with her BSN from Saint Martin’s University on May 10. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree and eventually become a nurse practitioner. She says, “I am proud to have mentored several co-workers to help them reach their goals, and I hope to be a role model for my children and others in the future.” She also plans to continue working for Providence, saying, “I plan to stay at Providence for as long as I am permitted. I love working here.”