UHV student receives Salute to Nurses scholarship

Faizmeen Pirali, center, receives her scholarship award during the Houston Chronicle's Salute to Nurses event, which honors nurses and nursing students. Jack Sweeny, chairman of the Houston Chronicle, left, and Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing, were on hand to present Pirali with her award.

Faizmeen Pirali recently became the fifth University of Houston-Victoria nursing student to receive a Salute to Nurses Scholarship.

The Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing student was one of five from the Houston area to receive a $1,500 scholarship as part of the Houston Chronicle's Salute to Nurses event.

Pirali attended a May 9 Salute to Nurses Awards Luncheon and was featured in a May 12 nursing special section in the Houston Chronicle.

The awards were created to recognize outstanding nurses and nursing students during National Nurses Week, celebrated annually from May 6 to 12.

"UHV's nursing school was founded in 2007, so to have five scholarship winners in our young history shows how talented our students are," said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. "Faizmeen is another shining example of a future nurse leader."

Pirali, a Sugar Land resident, was drawn to nursing after spending two years working with the elderly for a private veterans evaluation company.

With a bachelor's degree in business administration, Pirali wasn't able to provide the hands-on care she wanted to those who needed it the most.

A friend who recently had graduated from UHV's Second Degree BSN program encouraged Pirali to think about the program, so she applied.

Helping others comes naturally to Pirali. As a Shia Ismaili Muslim, she was raised to assist others when needed. She said the nursing profession is perfect for her because she gets to help people for a living. Pirali's helpfulness is also found in the classroom.

"Faizmeen is known as a student who has a positive attitude and goes out of her way to help classmates who are struggling with certain techniques," Tart said. "She is going to be the type of nurse that we strive to be - a smart, compassionate nurse who looks out for others."

Even though she enjoys nursing, the classes haven't been easy for Pirali. She studies a lot to make sure she is prepared.

"I'm more of a numbers person, so the science classes have been difficult," she said. "But what keeps me going is knowing that if you're passionate about something, you can make it through the tough times."

Pirali also credits the UHV nursing faculty members for her success. Their dedication to giving back to others - whether it's answering a question late at night or sharing their knowledge with students - has inspired her.

After graduation, Pirali plans to gain hospital experience before volunteering as a nurse in a Third World country. She wants to be like the other nurses honored by the Houston Chronicle's Salute to Nursing - nurses who make a difference in the lives of their patients.

"The Salute to Nursing award gives me confidence in myself to become a nurse who not only gives scientifically based care for my patients, but leaves them with a smile on their face on days that are the most difficult for them," she said. "It also will help me achieve a successful career that will not just be about me, but focuses on serving others."

For more information about the UHV School of Nursing programs, visit www.uhv.edu/nursing or call 877-970-4848, ext. 4370.

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