Circles of Giving Program

ACNL Scholarships – Making a Difference for Nurse Leaders


By Anne Tanner, MN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE
ACNL Board of Directors, South

Austin Nation, PhD, RN, was first introduced to ACNL in 2007 when he became President of the CSU, Fullerton Nursing Students Association. Through the mentorship offered by ACNL members to nursing students, Austin began attending ACNL regional meetings in Southern California. These regional meetings provided him with new knowledge and outstanding mentoring experiences. ACNL leaders left a lasting impression on Austin. “I felt like I had met the Who’s Who in Nursing… so many incredibly powerful nurse leaders in one room,” said Austin

This began a life-changing experience…

Austin continued to pursue advanced degrees and entered into the PhD program at UC San Francisco with a specialty in Nursing- Community Health Systems. He needed financial support to help complete the last year of the program. hen he heard about ACNLs support of lifelong learners through its scholarship program, he applied. He told the Philanthropic, Recognition and Scholarship (PRS) Committee that he needed the funding to complete his coursework and dissertation. As a PRS Committee member, I had the pleasure of contacting Austin to tell him he had been awarded a $4000 ACNL scholarship! The excitement and sheer astonishment in his voice was so rewarding to hear! Austin has told ACNL that the gift of this scholarship relieved a huge burden.

When asked what he might say to others who are not aware of ACNL’s generous scholarships, Austin said: “Members are missing out and should consider taking advantage of this wonderful support. ACNL has been extremely supportive of my academic endeavors and I couldn’t imagine getting through my education without their support.”

Because he wasn’t employed during the last year of his PhD program, Austin was worried about his finances and his ability to complete the program. “I didn't have enough money to pay for my tuition, housing and living expenses and things got really scary for me. I thought I was going to end up dropping out at the very end,” he said. 

The ACNL scholarship helped him get over the finish line and he graduated in June 2016! Now a tenure-track Assistant Professor at CSUF, Austin encourages his students to apply for ACNL scholarships to advance their education.

Being an ACNL member opens avenues for nurses to connect and share great ideas, AND there is an added benefit to having access to generous scholarships – all funded by ACNL members and friends of ACNL. Through the Circles of Giving program, nurses perpetuate their vocation to others who will carry the torch forward to the new generation.

As Austin so eloquently stated, “I sincerely believe ACNL is the best organization in the state of California!”

Learn More About ACNL's Circles of Giving Program

Giving Back to ACNL and Our Profession

By Beth Eichenberger, DNP, MPA/HSA, RN

Read this Article

Why the Circles of Giving is So Important

By Ellen Waxenberg-Zoschak, MPH, MS, RN, NEA-BC

Read this Article

Advancing the Work of ACNL

By Maureen Casamiquela, PhD, RN

Read this Article


Nurse Leaders Making a Difference!


View short video about ACNL's Circles of Giving