URI graduate nursing student honored

for commitment to mental health, Hispanic community KINGSTON, R.I. — November 19, 1999 — A University of Rhode Island nursing student who has made a habit of winning scholarships and honors has been cited for excellence twice more. Cristiana Delossantos, of Providence, a master’s candidate in URI’s College of Nursing, has been named this year’s recipient of the $1,000 Clare Sullivan Memorial Nurse Leadership Scholarship and Progresso Latino’s Health Award. Last spring, Delossantos was awarded the Robin Gaines Memorial Scholarship from the New England Regional Black Nurses Association Inc. The Sullivan scholarship, awarded by the Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island, honors students pursuing psychiatric nursing. “I was very surprised because my selection came as a result of a unanimous vote,” Delossantos said. “There was a lot of competition.” Progesso Latino honored Delossantos in late October as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. She was selected because of her work and perseverance in promoting good health for Latinos and other immigrants. Delossantos plans to continue her strong outreach efforts on behalf of the Latino community. “I want to start a Hispanic nurses association at URI,” she said. “I want to go into the high schools, get into classes and inspire students to seek nursing as a career.” In addition to her studies, Delossantos holds down a full-time job on the Providence Family Van, operated by Women & Infants Hospital. In that role, she provides health screenings, education, and referrals for the community. A registered nurse since 1994, Delossantos is pursuing psychiatric nursing because she sees a need in the Hispanic community for such services. “I kind of fell into it by accident when I did some clinical work at the Providence Center,” she said. “I found it a lot more challenging, and I saw the great need.” Norma Jean Schmieding, URI professor of nursing, had strong praise for Delossantos in nominating her for the Sullivan scholarship. “Ms. Delossantos has consistently, since 1990, used her bilingual ability in various health care and nursing roles,” Schmieding wrote. “The focus of her language skills has been and continues to be to provide help to people who need information in their native language so that they can maintain and improve their health as well as to prevent illnesses.” “I have every reason to believe that she would apply this knowledge to her practice in a way that would reflect the ideals that Ms. Clare Sullivan had for the care of mentally ill individuals,” Schmieding said. The late Sullivan was director of nursing at Butler Hospital in Providence. xxx For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116