“24/7” Nurse Awarded WPU’s Lynn Kendrick Erdman Scholarship

December 7, 2021

Eda Varinca Jones is a nurse at home and at work. Jones, of Fuquay-Varina, is a student in William Peace University’s RN to BSN program. She also works as a nurse at WakeMed Emergency Department in Apex. 

And on top of that, she cares for her twin daughter and son, now 2 and half years old, who were born prematurely and require additional care. 

Jones is this year’s recipient of the Lynn Kendrick Erdman ’75 Nursing Scholarship.

In her scholarship application, Jones explained that her children were born at only 25 weeks. They stayed in the NICU for several weeks after birth, struggling to live. Her son contracted meningitis while there, which has affected his abilities to walk, talk, see, and function. Her son’s complications have included Cerebral Palsy and seizures. Her daughter is now walking with the help of a physical therapist. 

“I am a mother and a nurse 24/7. My job is never-ending — between multiple appointments with specialists, administering medications and feeding him via G-tube, providing him with total care, and keeping up with all his therapies throughout the week,” Jones wrote. 

“Despite my hands being full and my heart being fuller, I come to work every weekend with a positive attitude, ready to deliver the best care I can to my patients and their families,” said Jones, who has also maintained a 4.0 GPA while at WPU.

“[The scholarship] will make a world of difference to my family and I because it will help pay for furthering my education. It will take some [of] the burden off us worrying about how we would afford tuition. It will also allow me to continue focusing more of my attention on earning by BSN while I continue to work full time and care for my blessed family.” 

The scholarship was established in 2019 by alumnus and trustee, Lynn Kendrick Erdman ’75, MN RN FAAN, and husband, David W, Erdman, BSE, JD. The scholarship is the first at Peace to provide financial assistance to students in the RN to BSN program. 

In her application essay, Jones quoted Susan Jero, MSN, RN: 

“The BSN degree will open doors for you and broaden your opportunities to explore more areas of nursing service. Remember- an ADN prepares you to become an RN and a BSN prepares you for the future.” 

“This statement – so simply put, is the reason I am pursuing higher education. It wasn’t until I read this a few times did I understand why it was so important to further my nursing education.  It isn’t because an ADN isn’t enough, it’s because a BSN is so much more,” Jones explained. 

Barry Swanner, manager of WakeMed Emergency Services, highly recommended Jones.  

“I can personally attest to her knowledge/ability to skillfully care for multiple patient populations and will also add that she is a valuable resource to her coworkers that are less experienced,” he wrote. “Eda continues to be one of my strongest team-oriented workers [and] goes above and beyond. Oftentimes, she takes initiative in helping others with tasks/assignments rather than asking. I believe what drives this initiative is her desire to give patients and families the very best care possible while at the same time adding value to the team. This is reflected in her positive demeanor and willingness to take her time and make each patient/family feel that they are the priority in that moment.” 

Jones will complete her BSN in December of 2022. 

“I am very proud of Eda and am so happy that she chose WPU for her BSN degree,” said Erica Jastrow, director of the WPU BSN Program. “She is an excellent student and truly embodies caring and professionalism. All the nurses who are working and going back to school to continue their education during a pandemic demonstrate tremendous dedication and they are all leaders. I also want to thank the Erdman family for their support of nurses at Peace as it truly makes a difference in the lives of these students.”