[August 11, 2023] The Lillian Saure Nursing Scholarship, managed by PioneerCare Foundation and administered by the PioneerCare Auxiliary, has presented awards totaling over $3,000 for seven students pursuing nursing degrees in the 2023 academic year. Recipients include Moraes Bugbee, Alayna Evavold, Megan Hughes, Melissa Komanetz, Grace Lider, Emma Swanson, and Morgan West. While each has served as a CNA, each has a unique story to share about their path into nursing.
Moraes Bugbee is a CNA at PioneerCare Center and looks forward to studying to become a nurse. “My mom was one of my biggest influences…She is a nurse at the cancer center and it always has sparked my eye to take care of other people, just like her,” Bugbee writes. “I love seeing residents improve…including them maybe leaving even though I’ve gotten so close to them.”
Alayna Evavold, who also works as a CNA at PioneerCare. Prior to her role as a CNA, Evavold worked as a dietary aide. She talks about the value in creating relationships with the people she serves and plans to attend NDSU this fall. “Being a CNA allows me to experience different situations that prepare me for my future career in nursing, and I have learned so much from this job.”
Megan Hughes has been accepted into the RN program at M State in Fergus Falls. “When I was around ten years of age, my Grammy started to become sick,” Hughes writes. “Every day after school I’d go over to visit and help take care of her…and the biggest part is that I knew I was there to comfort her. All in all, I want someone’s grandchild one day to know that their grandparent was being taken care of just like I got to do for my Grammy.”
Melissa Komanetz serves as a CNA at Pioneer Cottages in Breckenridge has worked in healthcare since 1998. Komanetz is attending NDSCS in Wahpeton this fall. “Do I feel entitled to this scholarship? Absolutely not. Do I feel it would be beneficial to myself and PioneerCare? Yes. I have been with Pioneer Cottages in Breckenridge for almost three years, and it’s been one of the best places I have worked. Feeling appreciated by your employer far outweighs any amount of money,” she writes.
Grace Lider is a CNA/TMA and began working at PioneerCare in 2019. As her first job, she began as a homemaker. She will attend the RN-BSN program online through Minnesota State University, Mankato. “I started off as a homemaker,” Lider writes. “I knew I wanted to have a different job where I could be there, taking care of the residents and getting closer with them. I later became a CNA and loved it. After starting this job, I knew I wanted to become a nurse.”
Emma Swanson has worked as a CNA at PioneerCare Center since July 2022 and plans to attend NDSU to pursue her nursing degree. Relating to her own past as a patient, Emma writes, “I hope to use my personal experiences to make their experience better and less scary. I want them to be able to tell me if something is hurting or if they aren’t feeling well.” She recently took an internship class where she was immersed in four different settings: New Dimensions Home Health Care, Otter Tail County Public Health, Lake Region Healthcare, and PioneerCare.
Morgan West has served as a CNA at PioneerCare for 2½ years and plans to attend North Dakota State University. “When I was working during Covid-19, I saw how it affected residents and their loved ones. I didn’t like seeing them sick or alone. Sometimes I would just sit and talk with them to get a better understanding of what I could do that would aid them best,” West wrote in her scholarship application.
About the Scholarship
Working first as a nurse at the hospital in Fergus Falls, Lillian Saure advanced to become the first administrator at Pioneer to be certified by the State of Minnesota, and served in that capacity from 1965 to 1975. A scholarship in her name helps students begin or advance their careers in nursing. Applications are accepted each spring with a May 15th deadline for students planning to attend coursework in the fall. PioneerCare employees AND members of the greater community are eligible and invited to apply.