Local News

Nurse funds new SFSC scholarship

AVON PARK - Future students in South Florida State College’s registered nursing programs will benefit from a non-endowed scholarship established by JoAnn Cardarella through the SFSC Foundation Inc. Cardarella recently pledged $100,000 over the next 12 years to pay for tuition, books and other expenses of students enrolled full-time in SFSC’s Generic RN or Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) to RN Transition programs. Cardarella spent more than 25 years in the health care profession, working primarily as a psychiatric nurse at the Duke VA Hospital in Durham, N.C., and at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Miami. “I was very poverty-stricken as a young nurse,” Cardarella said, recalling that she spent 10 years pursuing her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Miami because she could only afford to take one class a semester. She later earned her master’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina. During her career, she advanced from being a staff nurse to director of nursing at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
At a luncheon organized by SFSC’s nursing department Friday, Cardarella encouraged SFSC’s RN graduates to continue their education. “Education gets you places you never thought you’d be,” she said. “You have chosen a very rewarding career.” “This is a wonderful gift that will make it easier for our nursing students to get an education,” said Michele Heston, director of nursing education. Cardarella’s scholarship will be available to SFSC’s RN students beginning in the fall term, with special preference being given to those who demonstrate financial need and meet grade point average requirements. For more information about SFSC’s nursing programs, call 453-6661, 773-2252, 494-7500, or 465-5300. To learn more about opportunities for planned giving, call the SFSC Foundation at 453-3133.