University of Guam (January 2019) U.S. Naval Hospital Guam's Latte Stone Nurses Association present nursing scholarships to University of Guam nursing students, Riccaj Joslin and Marissa Aguon. (U.S. Navy photo by Jaciyn Matanane/Released)
University of Guam (January 2019) U.S. Naval Hospital Guam's Latte Stone Nurses Association present nursing scholarships to University of Guam nursing students, Riccaj Joslin and Marissa Aguon. (U.S. Navy photo by Jaciyn Matanane/Released)

US Naval Hospital Guam Latte Stone Nurses Association partners with the University of Guam's Nursing Program

by Jaciyn Matanane
U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Public Affairs

The Latte Stone Nurses Association (LSNA) is an organization established in 2014 with active duty and civilian nurses at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam (USNH Guam). The association focuses on professional development and promotes collaborative partnership between USNH Guam nurses and nurses in the local community.

As part of USNH Guam's outreach efforts, the LSNA raises funds to support nursing students under the University of Guam (UOG) nursing program. This year, the LSNA granted two one thousand dollar scholarships to two nursing students. These students submitted applications that were reviewed by the LSNA's board members through an objective selection process. UOG sophomore nursing student, Riccaj Joslin and junior nursing student, Marissa Aguon, were the honored recipients of the one thousand dollar nursing scholarships.

"When I realized I won, I was in utter disbelief," said Joslin. "Then, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I have been so stressed about finances in the weeks leading up to orientation, and being blessed with the scholarship felt like affirmation that I was in the right place, doing the right thing and chasing the right dream. I am so humbled and deeply appreciative of everyone who made this moment possible."

"Patient care is truly my calling," said Joslin. "The satisfaction I get from tending to an individual in need is unmatched by any other experience. It is a privilege to be entrusted with the level of responsibility; it really gives me a sense of fulfilling my purpose."

The scholarships were presented during the LSNA's first nursing symposium at UOG on January 18, 2019. The symposium provided an opportunity for students to speak with USNH Guam nurses and to understand the variety of nursing that is available to them. The goal of the symposium was to share information on clinical leadership, military support, and allow students to ask their questions with face-to-face interaction.

"We hope to make this an annual event," said Family Nurse Practitioner, Lcdr. Brandi Epperson. "Though the intended target is for the UOG nursing students, it is also beneficial to the military nursing professionals. We enjoyed sharing our experiences with the next generation of nurses and answering their questions about the profession we are passionate about. All the nurses I spoke with afterwards, expressed that the experience was rejuvenating and that it reminded them why they enjoy being nurses."

"The best thing about this association, is that it is a group of amazing professionals that look beyond their personal interest and get involved in projects that actually make a difference in the community," said Epperson. Their collective impact in the field of nursing will be broader than any of us could make on our own, and it will continue to ripple outward toward future nursing generations, long after we are gone."

USNH Guam and the LSNA congratulates UOG on their third year accomplishing a one hundred percent National Council Licensure Examination pass rate, over thirty percent greater than overseas college averages. The LSNA will continue to support young nurses on the island, to provide mentorship and clinical leadership opportunities to help them achieve their nursing goals.

“The help received will not be forgotten and I hope to work alongside the same fellow nurses in the near future,” said Aguon. “Nursing school is challenging, making it difficult to find the time to work and pay for school. This scholarship will profoundly aid me in staying on top of my studies as well as decrease the amount of stress exerted on financial problems.”

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