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Strangers Connected by Dedication to Nursing Excellence
Inaugural Kim Kelley Memorial Nursing Scholarship Awarded

Strangers Connected by Dedication to Nursing Excellence <br>Inaugural Kim Kelley Memorial Nursing Scholarship Awarded

May 20, 2022 – Graduation ceremonies today at Hartnell College will be bittersweet for the family of Kim Kelley,an Emergency Department Nurse and RN Preceptor at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital who passed away in March of 2021. The painful, unexpected loss gave birth to a legacy scholarship in Kim’s memory and the inaugural gift is bestowed upon a first-generation college student with nursing dreams of her own.

Knowing how important nursing was to Kim, and how much she valued her experience at Hartnell College, Kim’s family reached out to the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation with the idea of creating a scholarship fund.

The Kim Kelley Memorial Nursing Scholarship Endowment Fund was created, with earnings dedicated to providing scholarships for nursing students at Hartnell College, ensuring that Kim’s legacy and love of nursing would continue on long into the future.

The 2022 recipient of the Kim Kelley Memorial Nursing Scholarship is Vannessa Ramirez of Salinas, a 30 year old first generation college student, who is also a single mother of 2. She will graduate from Hartnell College with her degree in Registered Nursing today. Vannessa started her medical career as a pharmacy technician, then put herself through vocational school to become and LVN, and finally enrolled in Hartnell’s nursing program at the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

“The most rewarding thing about nursing for me is being able to make a difference in people’s lives, being there for them when they need assistance, and being able to help my community,” says Vannessa, “I am thankful for being selected as the first recipient of the Kim Kelley Memorial Scholarship and I hope to make the Kelley family proud as I begin my career as an RN.”

Vannessa hopes to work as a nurse at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, and is especially interested in the Emergency Department and its fast paced environment. She has already started working toward her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) and will soon take the NCLEX exam with the California Board of Registered Nursing.

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