Meet the NSP II Cohen Scholars: Sheila Pierre-Louis
Updated: Apr 27
LNF is excited to begin its next spotlight series, this time on Maryland's Nurse Support Program (NSP) II Cohen Scholars!
Who are the Cohen Scholars? From the Nurse Support website:
The Cohen Scholars are recognized as the next generation of nurse educators to fill the positions needed now and in the future.
This NSP II program provides funding for Cohen Scholars to complete the necessary graduate degrees and coursework to prepare to become a nurse educator or faculty in the state of Maryland.
Join us in meeting some of the Cohen Scholars across the state of Maryland!
Sheila Pierre-Louis, BSN, RN, CCRN-CMC, SCRN, is a current DNP student at the University of Maryland in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP Program. She also works as a Clinical Nurse at Holy Cross Hospital and Clinical Faculty at Montgomery College.
Professor Pierre-Louis is passionate about empowering her students to use their voices and revolutionize the profession of nursing. The Cohen Scholarship program is helping her pursue this dream and to become the first in her family to hold a doctorate.
Professor Pierre-Louis was kind enough to answer a few questions below about her experience:
What drew you to a career in teaching?
"Despite tutoring for years, I had not realized how much I enjoyed teaching until I became a nurse myself. Early into my career I had the opportunity to orient new grad nurses and was also assigned nursing students. I specifically remember one of the clinical instructors told me how much her students enjoyed working with me and suggested that I look into teaching. At that time, I truly thought there was no way I was equipped to teach.
A few years into my career, I became more aware of the politics surrounding the nursing profession and was not exactly pleased with many aspects of it. It was then when I truly resonated with becoming a teacher and having the opportunity to empower student nurses to have a voice when they enter the nursing profession.
My dream is to empower as many nurses as possible to revolutionize the nursing profession.
The Cohen Scholarship is bringing me one step closer to this goal!"
What are the TWO most important things you’ve learned as you've prepared for a career as an educator?
"Throughout my journey of becoming an educator, I have learned many valuable lessons that will allow me to succeed. One of these things is how important it is to meet students where they are.
Many students have different learning styles and require various teaching strategies to be successful.
I have also learned several of these effective teaching strategies to improve learning outcomes."
What has your experience as a Cohen Scholar been like? How has this program impacted your career path?
"Without the Cohen scholarship, I would not be where I am today! Being one of seven girls, to first-generation immigrants, has had many financial hardships making a graduate degree seem out of reach. With much gratitude, the Cohen Scholarship has allowed me to make this dream come true.
In May 2024, I will be the first in my family to hold a doctoral degree."
Tell us about the steps/processes that helped you acquire your first teaching position.
"Working at a large teaching facility allowed me to make connections with the associated school. Through these connections, I was made aware of an opening for a adjunct position and was encouraged to apply."
Thank you to Professor Pierre-Louis for taking the time to share your story with us and for pursuing a career that leads the nursing profession forward!
Stay tuned for our next Cohen Scholar Spotlight.
Are you a Cohen Scholar who would like to share your story? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!