Wilmington, DE —
Virgena Banks loves nursing. As a Certified Nursing Assistant at Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Delaware, she knew that the nursing profession was truly her calling, despite the highly challenging work. But, when this busy mother of four was faced with the elimination of her position, she realized that in order to find job security for her family, furthering her education was the only answer. “I tell my kids that education is the key to empowerment and self-sufficiency,” Virgena says. A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing would provide that security, as well as enable her to continue the work that is her passion.
So, Virgena got busy applying to local schools including Delaware Technical and Community College and Cecil County Community College. After getting her credits together, passing a required entrance exam, and reorganizing an already hectic schedule, she is ready to start on the next step of her educational journey!
Virgena’s desire to help others has been a lifelong passion. In 2009, however, that interest narrowed to medicine when her mother suffered a stroke. Helping to care for her mother as she recuperated intensified Virgena’s desire to start a career in nursing — a decision she has never regretted.
“It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” she explains. “It’s important to have a passion for what you do. And, you have to show respect and allow your patients to retain their dignity. No one wants to be in a position to not be able to do for themselves. When I care for my patients, I treat them as if they are with someone from their own family.”
Combined with a love of learning, Virgena feels that it’s her passion for the profession that will enable her to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. “I need to set a good example,” she says. “I want to create legacy, not only for myself, but also for my children.”
Even with family obligations, sports schedules, kids’ extra-curricular activities, and work commitments, Virgena is determined to somehow juggle it all. And, most surprisingly, her RN degree is not her only long-term goal!
Virgena’s plan includes eventually obtaining a Master’s Degree in order to become a nurse practitioner. To that end, she has already met with Wilmington University officials to discuss how a mere eight courses can complete her Master’s Degree.
Of course, none of these plans could become a reality without scholarship assistance. “I want to thank the Leon Weiner Education Foundation for this opportunity,” Virgena says. “It’s been such a blessing. Because the Foundation believes in me and sees my determination, a major mustard seed has been planted in my life.”
Your support of the Leon N. Weiner Education Foundation will help us assist other dedicated students like Virgena as we continue to expand our Scholarship Program.