The Mary Eliza Mahoney Memorial $10,000 Scholarship to Pursue A Nursing Degree

The Mary Eliza Mahoney Memorial $10,000 Scholarship to Pursue A Nursing Degree

Announcing the Mary Eliza Mahoney Memorial Scholarship

$10,000 scholarship for a union member of a healthcare union in the pursuit of a nursing degree

For years the MNA Foundation has supported nurses in their pursuit of continuing their academic careers. MNA members have completed BSN programs, become nurse educators, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists; they have earned master’s degrees, doctorates and PhDs all in a pursuit of advancing the nursing profession and taking patient advocacy to new heights.

Today the foundation is thrilled to announce a new and very exciting scholarship, named in honor of our country’s first African-American graduate nurse, Mary Eliza Mahoney. The Mary Eliza Mahoney scholarship will provide financial support to a fellow union member who wants to become a nurse and a member of the MNA. The Minnesota Nurses Association recognizes that myriad institutional and structural barriers keep many people from a nursing career. While approximately 20 percent of Minnesotans identify as people of color, less than 6 percent of registered nurses do. We want to foster the creation of a diverse team of nurses that reflects the diversity of our communities. This scholarship serves to recognize an outstanding union member who has begun their path to a nursing career. The Mahoney Scholarship recipient will receive $2,500 per semester of nursing school up to a total of $10,000.

Every day MNA members rely on the skilled work of nursing assistants, aids, and custodial staff to keep patients safe, to protect against infection, and to provide for patients a sense of well-being and support. The foundation board is seeking candidates for this scholarship who may come strongly recommended by MNA nurses who have worked side by side with an SEIU member. Do you know of aids or unlicensed assistive personnel who would make great nurses? Please encourage them to apply!

I am joined by the full MNA Foundation board in our enthusiastic celebration of this new scholarship. We look forward to inviting our first Mary Mahoney Scholar to the 2019 MNA Convention.

Hans-Peter De Ruiter, MNAF Board Chair

Minnesota Nurses Association Foundation

Hans-Peter de Ruiter, PhD, RN, Chair

Lori Christian, RN, BS, CEN, MNA Board of Directors Liaison

Paige Clements, RN

Valerie Johnson, RN

Joan Liaschenko, RN, PhD, FAAN

Darlene Mechtenberg, RN, BSN

Ian Wolfe, RN

Yuliya Yurkevych, RN

Additional Details Regarding Process and Requirement

Scholarship Recipient Criteria

  • Must be a union member of a healthcare union in good standing.
  • Must be enrolled in an accredited nursing program and must have completed a minimum of one semester.
  • Indigenous people and people of color especially encouraged to apply.


Application Requirements

  • On-line Application Form (to be found on the MNA website):
  • Official Academic Transcript
  • An essay (maximum 2 pages) that addresses the following:
    • Describe your experience of diversity and inclusion in healthcare.
    • Why do you want to become a nurse?
    • What does being a union member mean to you?
  • 3 letters of recommendation: no letters can be from a relative
    • 1 from your union leadership (for example, a letter from SEIU or AFSME, etc. steward, elected leader or staff)
    • 1 from an academic source/ faculty member
    • 1 from a personal reference
      • This person may be a co-worker, for example an MNA nurse!
      • This person may be someone from your community, religious organization, related to volunteer work, etc.


  • Complete applications are due by June 1, 2019.
  • No incomplete or late applications will be considered.


If you have questions about the application process contact Linda Owens at 1-800-536-4662, ext. 122, 651-414-2822, or


If you have questions about the application requirements contact Megan Gavin at 1-800-536-4662, ext. 161, 651-414-2862, or