Brenda Del Fiero: How the Gessner Nursing Scholarship made her focus on being a better student, nurse

Brenda Del Fiero, University of Houston College of Nursing ’22 graduate, considers herself a fortunate woman. She’s living her dream career, and nursing is everything she thought it would be — and more. It’s the Gessner Nursing Scholarship that helped her turn that dream into a reality. Well, that and a lot of hard work on Del Fiero’s part.

After high school, Del Fiero enrolled at UH, undecided about her major. UH didn’t have a nursing program at the time, so she started classes at UT Health Science Center. When the UH Nursing Program opened in 2020, she applied and took special note of the Gessner scholarship. After waiting for what seemed like forever, her phone rang, and caller ID showed UH College of Nursing. Del Fiero froze, and when she learned that she made it into the program and received the scholarship, she let out a delighted squeal.

“I still remember that day,” Del Fiero said. “I was in shock! The scholarship has made everything possible. It helped with my tuition, and I bought books, uniforms and even my first stethoscope. Being able to focus on my studies and not have to get a job allowed me to devote myself to my goals.”

Del Fiero’s advice to anyone considering the UH Nursing Program and the Gessner Nursing Scholarship is to “stay focused.” She said, “Many of us are young, in our early 20s, with a lot going on. School must come first. There’s plenty of time to party after you study.”

“The scholarship application is very straightforward and easy to complete,” Brenda said. “The most important part, though, is the essay question. Write a paragraph or two about why you want to be a nurse and what the program means to you,” she said. “Show your excitement and commitment and stand out from the rest!”

As a nurse, Del Fiero works in a critical care unit with adult patients. “In school, you focus on patients and medications. Out in the real world, it’s all that, plus working with doctors, families, occupational therapists, physical therapists … the nurse puts everything together and is the advocate for the patient. I love my job. I’m very busy, and I learn something new every day.”