Nursing student receives $1,000 Student Engagement Network grant

headshot of nursing student Abryel Johnson

Abryel Johnson, a fourth-year nursing student at Penn State Scranton, has received a $1,000 Student Engagement Network grant from the University, which she will use during a shadowing/mentorship co-curricular opportunity with VNA Home Health.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — Abryel Johnson, a fourth-year nursing student in the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing at Penn State Scranton will shadow Mike Evans, the assistant dean of undergraduate nursing at the Commonwealth Campuses, in a home-health environment after receiving a $1,000 Student Engagement Network (SEN) grant.

“Going to college is important to me because I wanted to create a future for myself where I love what I do and also make a difference — and I feel nursing is the perfect path for me to accomplish this,” Johnson said, adding that when she found out she was a recipient of this year’s SEN grant, she felt immediately grateful. “Anyone who has been or supported someone who has attended college knows that there are many expenses that come along with it and receiving this grant has given me support to help further my nursing skills and have an experience that gives me so much insight and knowledge I may not have gotten otherwise."

Johnson will shadow Evans at the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Home Health, a visiting nurse association of Lackawanna County and surrounding communities.

"I am looking forward to getting to see nursing care in the setting of someone’s home," Johnson said. "As of now, most clinical experiences are in a hospital setting, so this experience is new to me. I look forward to stepping outside of my comfort zone and experiencing something that will allow me to work on and expand upon new skills.”

Evans said that Johnson is “a joy to work with, as she is enthusiastic, motivated and eager to learn,” adding that this type of co-curricular experience allows her to receive an immersive experience in home health nursing, which is a growing area of health care. Through this experience, Evans said he hopes that Johnson learns how to better provide person-centered compassionate care in a home setting to persons in need.

Johnson said she appreciates the opportunities our campus’ nursing degree program gives to students. 

Throughout my time in this program, we have been offered many opportunities to expand on skill inside and outside the classroom. Skills labs, academic success meetings, and guest speakers are just some of the opportunities that are offered to us. These opportunities allow us to gain knowledge, experience, and skills to make us prepared for boards and as we near becoming RNs.

—Abryel Johnson , Fourth-year nursing student at Penn State Scranton

Aside from receiving the SEN Grant, Johnson has also been recognized on the dean’s list throughout her time at Penn State Scranton, received the Grace Keen Memorial Scholarship and serves a student representative for the Student Nurses Association (SNA).

She said she hopes to pursue a nursing career in a hospice setting after graduation, but that through different clinical experiences, she is open to working in other specialty areas as well.