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College of Nursing

iCON | Intranet for the College of Nursing
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Delivering on your investment: Ellen Dillard, BSN '14, MSN '19

“My godmother was a nurse and turned me on to the profession,” said Ellen Dillard, BSN ’04, MSN ’19. “I saw how compassionate she was when she spoke about nursing.”

The inspiration and drive to pursue nursing is unique to each student and is often referred to as a calling. In the case of Dillard, her calling was fueled by donor support through the Rao and Joyce Kareti Nursing Scholarship.

Ellen Dillard pictured at graduation

For over 25 years, the scholarship has supported students enrolled in the RN-BSN program at the college.

“The scholarship helped me focus on my schooling for those semesters instead of focusing on how I was going to pay for my tuition. I am beyond grateful to them,” said Dillard.

Having practiced as a registered nurse for five years and recently completing her nurse practitioner degree, Dillard continues to deliver on the investment made by Dr. Rao and Joyce Kareti.

Now practicing at a bone-marrow transplant and hematology unit in Detroit, Mich., Dillard hopes to expand on her role as a nurse practitioner by providing more education to the patients she serves.

“I want to help set up a program led by advanced practice registered nurses to educate our patients on their diagnoses,” she continued, “The program would involve a discussion regarding diagnostics, clinical presentation, treatments, and management of symptoms.”

As a nurse practitioner, Dillard is passionate about using her comprehensive approach to health care as a way to treat and educate patients in a way that works for them. 

“The most important aspect of nursing is being an advocate for my patients, which means teaching them to take an active role in their own care,” she said.