Nicole McCoy, a registered nurse of 11 years, is pursuing a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner at Illinois State. “I am excited to explore different areas in nursing outside of my current expertise and explore how I can best serve my community in the future,” she said.

McCoy has worked in many settings as a nurse but has spent the majority of her time with high-risk expectant mothers, neonates and pediatric patients. Her inspiration to go into the nursing field was driven by her mother’s battle with cancer, which occurred when McCoy was two years old and her mother was 25.

“My mother is my hero. I grew up hearing her stories about the nursing staff and grew to value the impact they had on her life in her time of need,” McCoy said. “She remembers many of them to this day. I want to be that person someone remembers years from now.”

The Jeannette Gorecki Nursing Scholarship that McCoy received honors Jeannette Gorecki, who was a labor and delivery nurse, clinical instructor, and nurse practitioner. Her commitment to her patients, as well as her comforting and caring spirit, contributed to her outstanding care and dedication to the nursing field.

McCoy feels blessed to honor Jeannette’s legacy and will use the scholarship to alleviate financial stress while taking classes to expand her knowledge and expertise in the nursing field. “Thank you does not seem like enough,” said McCoy. “I will forever be grateful.”