Nurses working towards degrees must often concurrently hold down full-time jobs. With this in mind, Linda Gorman MN ’77 and her late husband Stanley have endowed UCLA School of Nursing with two scholarships under the Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match program: The Gorman Family Centennial Undergraduate Scholarship and The Gorman Family Centennial Fellowship in Nursing.
For Gorman, the scholarships are particularly meaningful. “I had a long road getting here,” she says of earning her MN from UCLA. Indeed, when Gorman was coming up the ranks, nursing schools took place in hospitals. Still, she says, “Attending a university was always my dream.”
A move to California saw Gorman having to repeat all her schooling. UCLA remained in her sites all along. This was during the 70s, when moratoriums were placed on admissions and funding unavailable to nursing students. Gorman persevered, attending Los Angeles Valley College and California State University, Los Angeles.
When it came time to earn her masters, Gorman gave UCLA another shot, applying and winning a Regent Fellowship. “My masters was in psychiatric nursing, a fabulous program that exposed me to things I’d never experienced before.”
Post-graduation, Gorman was a clinical nurse specialist for palliative care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She contributed to nursing in myriad ways, including lecturing on psychosocial, palliative and end-of-life care. Gorman also published several books, among them the 2007 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year, Psychosocial Nursing Care Along the Cancer Continuum, a project co-written with Nancy Jo Bush and Rose Mary Carroll-Johnson. In 2009, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists named Gorman Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year.
Now retired, Gorman is “paying it forward.” The Gorman Family Centennial Undergraduate Scholarship is targeted towards students coming to UCLA straight from high school, or transferring in from community college. Of this scholarship, Gorman says, “UCLA’s emphasis on supporting first generation college student was an impetus for this scholarship.”
The Gorman Family Centennial Fellowship in Nursing benefits students in UCLA’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. “When I attended UCLA to become an advanced practice nurse, the masters was the degree to achieve that goal “she says. “Now, a clinical doctorate degree is becoming recommended and there’s a need for more funding. The fellowship will alleviate financial demands, making it easier for nurses to complete their studies.”
Ultimately, Gorman hopes UCLA’s Nursing School students will have the same rich experience she had. “UCLA changed the course of my career and led to things I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.”