Nurses in Need Fund Helps Student Overcome Unexpected Hurdle

by Katie Gerber '24

From an early aspiration inspired by the compassionate care of nurses during her father's hospitalization to a military stint and pursuing an associate's degree at a local community college, Diohana's journey toward becoming a nurse has been far from conventional.

After graduation, Diohana Fermin ’26 thought the best way for her to achieve her goal of becoming a nurse without accumulating too much debt would be to enlist in the army and pursue her nursing degree through the Army Nurse Corps. Unfortunately, she sustained an injury and was forced to leave her training.

This led to her returning home to Freeland, PA, and enrolling in a two-year nursing program at Luzerne County Community College. Not entirely satisfied with her choice, she was encouraged by family members, especially her sister-in-law, who recently graduated from Bloomsburg with a nursing degree, to enroll at CU-Bloomsburg to go all-in and take on the challenge of becoming an RN with a four-year degree.

After successfully completing her first-year education courses, Diohana was excited to return for her sophomore year and jump into her nursing courses to learn the skills and experiences to help her take the first steps toward achieving her dream.

However, she faced an unexpected hurdle at the beginning of this semester. As she eagerly embarked on her second year of nursing classes, the revelation came that the financial aid she was expecting to cover the cost of her textbooks would be delayed.

"I was panicking," says Diohana. "I didn't know what to do, because if I didn't have my books, I was going to miss assignments and fall behind right away."

She shared her concerns with a member of the nursing faculty, and the conversation was overheard by Senior Associate Dean of the College of Health Professions, Kim Olszewski, who told Diohana to come with her. The Dean informed Diohana that thanks to support from donors to the BU Foundation through the Nurses in Need fund, she may be able to help.

"The next day, Ms. Spezialatti from the dean's office called me in for a meeting," Diohana adds. "When I got there, she walked me down to the bookstore and purchased the books I needed. I was so relieved I hugged her and cried. I don't think the donors who gave these gifts will ever know how much it truly means to me."

A longtime Bloomsburg nursing supporter established the Nurses in Need fund this past October for students facing emergency needs, like Diohana.

Diohana's story is a reminder of the importance of community support in empowering individuals to overcome challenges and pursue their dreams. The generosity of donors who contribute to funds like Nurses in Need plays a crucial role in ensuring that students like Diohana can access the resources they need to thrive in their education and future careers.

If you're inspired by Diohana's journey and want to make a positive impact on the lives of students facing emergency needs, you can contribute to the Nurses in Need fund through the BU Foundation. Your support can make a significant difference in helping students overcome obstacles and continue their educational journey, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of future healthcare professionals.

Click the link below to make a gift today to support the Nurses in Need fund and join the community in helping students like Diohana achieve their dreams.