Award enables hospice nurse to pursue degree

Tiffany Long, a certified nursing assistant at Hospice of the Piedmont, with stepdaughter Brianna (at left) and daughter Abigayle.

The Hospice of the Piedmont named Tiffany Long, a Louisa resident and certified nursing assistant for the Charlottesville-based nonprofit, as one of eight recipients of the Donald A. Perry Memorial Scholarship this week. 

The academic scholarship, funded by an anonymous donor, will cover the cost of Long’s education as she pursues a degree as a registered nurse. The scholarship includes all related costs, including tuition, testing, books and admission fees.

Long said she was surprised and thankful for the opportunity. She wouldn’t have applied for the scholarship if it wasn’t for her fellow nurses who encouraged her. 

“I didn’t think I’d get it because a bunch of people were applying for it,” she said. “I just did it to make them [the other nurses at work] happy, and I ended up getting it.” 

Long’s pursuit of a nursing career was inspired by watching nurses care for a family member who was badly injured when she was seven years old. 

Long has been studying nursing since 2005 and graduated from high school in 2010 as a certified nursing assistant. In August 2020, she started taking classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College to fulfill prerequisites before transferring to a four-year program. She hopes to study at the University of Virginia and eventually specialize in wound care. 

“I just enjoy taking care of people,” Long said. “I enjoy being able to be there for them.”

Besides educational costs, the scholarship will pay for Long to be paired with an experiened community mentor.

“We are so proud that our dedicated staff have been awarded this incredible gift,” said Michelle Sodrel, Hospice of the Piedmont chief nursing officer.

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