Health & Wellness

Scholarships Awarded to Two HackensackUMC Mountainside Nursing School Students

Credits: Courtesy of HackensackUMC Mountainside
Credits: Courtesy of HackensackUMC Mountainside

GLEN RIDGE, NJ - Scholarships designed exclusively for adult learners at HackensackUMC Mountainside School of Nursing have been awarded to Kaelyn Harris and Ethan Smith.  

The awards were made possible by a grant from the Partners for Health Foundation.  The grant, entitled the Helath Merit Scholarship for Adult Learners, gives students the opportunity to pursue their goals of becoming nurses after two years.  

The mission of Partners for Health is to strengthen health and wellness in various communities and create healthier communities by supporting and advancing good health, wellness education, and disease prevention and treatment.  They are an independent, self-governing public charity serving the Montclair area.

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Ethan Smith stated, “Receiving the Partners for Health Scholarship is a blessing.  It allows me to focus my attention towards learning and becoming an excellent nurse for this community.  I am so thankful for this opportunity.”

Established more than a century ago in 1892, HackensackUMC Mountainside School of Nursing in Montclair has prepared more than 3,700 graduates to become Registered Nurses and practice in a variety of health care settings.

"A high number of students who enter the program graduate. On June 11, 2014, 55 of an enrolled class of 58 were awarded their diplomas," said Ngozi Nkongho, PhD, RN, CNE, Director of the School of Nursing.  "We received 160 applications and have admitted a class of 65 students whom we hope will join our profession in the future."

Harris and Smith will begin their studies in the fall of 2014, when each receive $4,000 toward tuition.  The award includes an additional $4,000 for the spring, 2015 semester.

“I am so honored to receive the partners for Health Merit Scholarship which is enabling me to make a significant career change and pursue a dream of serving my community as a nursing professional.  I am grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate that the scholarship committee’s faith is well-placed,” said Harris.

As a result of a unique provision in the scholarship, the graduates will be required to register as an RN in New Jersey.  If they accept an offer of employment from the hospital or any other qualified local healthcare provider located in the Montclair area,  then both scholarship recipients will be eligible for an additional stipend.

Kaelyn Harris, of Glen Ridge, earned her BA in Psychology at Montclair State University with a 3.9 GPA.  She is currently employed as a Veterinary Tech for an area animal hospital and also volunteers with a veterinarian who performs in-home euthanasia for animals who are not physically able to be transported. 

Ethan Smith, of Augusta, NJ earned a BA in Psychology Cum Laude at Kean University.  He is currently employed as an Emergency Department patient technician and has previous experience working in Telemetry and Intensive Care Units also as a patient technician.  Ethan aspires to continue his education to work in Emergency as a BSN and ultimately to become a flight nurse.   

The HackensackUMC Mountainside School of Nursing has a long and distinguished history and is recognized as one of this region’s leading hospital-based nursing education programs.

Partners for Health is committed to creating healthier communities by supporting and advancing good health, wellness education and disease prevention and treatment.  

At HackensackUMC Mountainside, patients have immediate access to innovative and effective treatment alternatives at specialized centers within the hospital that focus on imaging, women’s health, cancer care, surgery, obesity, stroke and chronic kidney disease. The 365-bed community hospital also serves as a learning center via its nursing school and residency programs. HackensackUMC Mountainside is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the NJ State Department of Health and Senior Services and is one of only a few community hospitals licensed by the State to perform emergency angioplasty.  

To learn more about HackensackUMC Mountainside, visit


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