UNMC distance education student selected for prestigious nursing scholarship

Narda Ligotti selected as a 2012-2014 Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar

Narda Ligotti, a nurse educator for the Veteran’s Affairs Central California Health Care System in Fresno, Calif., was selected as a 2012-2014 Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar. Ligotti is a Ph.D. student enrolled in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing’s distance education program.

The scholarship provides support for doctoral students who aspire to teach in nursing colleges. Ligotti was one of 142 scholars chosen representing 50 states. The scholarship program provides $10,000 for two years with half matched by the college. The college matched the award through the Who Will Care for You Fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

I am honored and thrilled to be chosen to participate in the program focused on the well-being of U.S. veterans,” Ligotti said. “The award will provide incredible support for my dissertation research. I will dedicate my work and use the scholarship for my professional development as a nurse scientist, and I will commit to a program of study that revolves around veterans and contributes to the science that will support the health and wellbeing of our veterans.”

Ann Berger, Ph.D., director of the UNMC College of Nursing doctoral program, said the scholarship program helps address the critical shortage of nursing faculty in the United States. A shortage of faculty is a problem for all 15 nursing schools in Nebraska. Faculty shortages result in fewer nurses produced for the state.

A nurse practitioner, Ligotti earned her bachelor’s degree and a dual master’s degree in nursing from California State University. She also earned an associate’s degree in life science from Fresno City Community College and was awarded the highest honor -- the Dean’s Medallion for the Math, Science and Engineering Division. She also was a two-time recipient of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholarship.

Founded in 2006, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence is supported by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund. Its mission is to advance professional nursing through grant making and programs that improve nurse recruitment and retention, increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce, advance innovative practice models and improve practice settings.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.




Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190