Can a $50 donation really make an impact?

Penn Nursing’s Annual Fund changes lives and helps develop the next generation of bold nurse leaders. The Fund provides additional financial aid, faculty resources, student experiences, and lifelong learning opportunities for students and alumni. But can a $50 donation really make an impact?

1. Lucy, due to earn her DNP in Executive Leadership from Penn Nursing in May, receives an email, asking her to consider a gift to the Penn Nursing Annual Fund. She’s made donations to health clinics and political causes but never to Penn Nursing.

2. When Lucy interned with a nursing expert in New York City last year—a life-changing experience that influenced her career path—taking the train back and forth was a financial hardship. Penn Nursing’s Student Services helped her defray the costs with Annual Fund monies so she could continue the internship. Lucy decides to donate $50. Maybe it will help someone like her.

3. Lucy’s gift arrives at Penn Nursing Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Her $50 is added to the Annual Fund, along with several other donations that arrive that day:

• $300 from Mark, a Penn Nursing alum who also makes a recurring gift of $25 each month.

• $100 from Alex and Sandy, parents of Penn Nursing student Ashley, who will graduate from the BSN program in 2024.

4. Penn Nursing’s Business Office examines additional funding requests from department heads/ faculty and available Annual Fund monies, including Lucy’s $50 donation. They allocate funds to the simulation lab in the Helene Fuld for Innovative Learning and Simulation.

5. The Pavilion Director prioritizes funding from the Annual Fund to enhance realism in simulated clinical scenarios by hiring content experts— individuals with extensive experience in specific areas being simulated—to act in the role of patients.

When nursing students spend time in these simulations, they learn in a safe environment how to engage in difficult situations, many of which they may not be exposed to in off-campus clinical settings. Penn Nursing is the only nursing school that hires content experts instead of standardized patients, ensuring a robust and realistic learning environment!

6. The Director hires Gina to act as a patient; Gina is a clinical provider with 20 years of experience providing care to intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors.

7. ABSN student Christopher is scheduled for a 2-hour simulation session in the Pavilion as part of the Women Across the Lifespan course. Gina plays the role of a pregnant woman who arrives at the emergency department (ED) with vaginal bleeding—and during the scenario he practices therapeutic communications that reveal the patient was pushed down the stairs by their partner. Afterward, Gina and trained simulation instructors provide him with feedback on his communications and interventions.

8. During Christopher’s clinical rotation in the ED a few days later, a woman comes in with a black eye and bleeding—a victim of IPV. As a result of his simulation experience, made possible through Lucy’s donation and the Annual Fund, Christopher had the confidence and tools to care for this challenging clinical scenario and was able to implement a safety plan for his patient.


*All names are changed to protect privacy.

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