Tosin Ola-Weissmann, studying Nursing and Business Administration, is a DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist

[W]hen I decided to go to graduate school, I needed a dual-degree that would allow me to teach nursing students and provide a solid healthcare management and business foundation. My graduate degree facilitates my dreams of teaching and developing a new generation of nurses. It’s important for me to give back to the profession that I love.

Throughout the years as a practicing nurse, I realized that healthcare is heavily influenced by the decisions made in the board room. Nurses and patients are affected by these decisions, and we need more nurses on the executive level to steer positive changes. Healthcare can be better and more affordable. A graduate degree in business administration advances my career into nursing leadership, healthcare policy change, decision-making, and healthcare management. 

The first obstacle against my education was being born with sickle cell disease. This is a hereditary condition that causes extreme pain, chronic fatigue, and requires frequent hospitalizations. The triggers of a painful episode can be dehydration, traveling, stress, cold, heat, flying, swimming, periods, infection and anything that alters your body chemistry. An episode can occur any time, lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It often requires hospitalization, pain medicines, and a blood transfusion. As I write this, I am in a pain episode and admitted in the hospital. Even sick and in pain, I stay focused on my education. Having sickle cell will not derail me from succeeding in all my goals, doing well in school, and graduating with honors. 

The financial obstacles of education are heightened with sickle cell disease. I often have to make the difficult decision of paying for my education, living expenses, or medical bills. Even though I have worked full-time as a registered nurse and have health insurance, the high deductibles and co-pays affect my disposable income. Not only am I out from work and not making money, each sickle cell episode often has me worried how I was going to pay my rent, electricity, and tuition. The choice is a difficult one, and this scholarship will remove the need to sacrifice living expenses for education and allow me to focus on doing well in school.

When I graduate, there will be tears in my eyes because of all the obstacles I have faced. The days of being hospitalized, in pain, and studying will all be eclipsed in that moment of success. My life has not been easy with sickle cell disease, and yet, accomplishing my goal of graduation after years of hard work will be a moment of unspeakable joy. I will be able to advance my nursing career, teach nursing students, and influence healthcare management. In addition, I can complete my life long goal of developing a non-profit organization that raises awareness, funds for research, increases visibility, reduces misconceptions, and provides education on sickle cell disease. With your help, I can make all these dreams a reality. Thank you for your time.’s scholarship program is proud to announce Tosin Ola-Weissmann as one of the finalists for its December 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.