The Rowyn Ann Ney scholarship was created by USD alumni Emily Ney and her husband Scott Ney in honor of their daughter Rowyn.
The couple lost their baby girl at 34 weeks and one day in late 2018. They said were incredibly touched by the nurses at the Sanford USD medical center in Sioux Falls.
“The week before we lost her, we were at Sanford in Sioux Falls at the labor and delivery floor, and the nurses were so incredible when we had our first stay,” Emily said. “When we were in the emergency room in Orange City and discovered our baby had passed away, they suggested we go back to Sanford because the nurses there were really trained for situations like ours.”
The couple returned to the Sanford Medical center on Thanksgiving Day.
“We just had the most incredible nurses; they were truly like angels,” Emily said. “They were so compassionate and loving and understanding, just filled with a passion we thought was truly incredible.”
The nurses, the couple said, made their difficult situation bearable.
“We were expecting this child to come out crying and the nurses took care of her like she was alive,” Scott said. “They cleaned her up, they gave her a bath like you would normally treat a baby.”
The couple was extremely moved by the care they received.
“It’s not their baby, but they were showing compassion to her like we did,” Scott said. “I think that we want the nurses to have the compassion when they graduate to be able to tend to peoples needs like these nurses did for us.”
The couple decided that they wanted something good to come out of their challenging situation.
“Me being a teacher, I really value education, and I have always been inspired by nurses because it’s something I could never do,” she said. “So, we just thought we should put money towards a scholarship to help better the education of someone in hopes that they can help someone like us.”
The couple was able to set the parameters for what they wanted their scholarship to be.
“The student has to successfully complete one semester in the nursing program and has to maintain a 3.0 GPA and have a preference in labor and delivery upon graduation,” she said.
The couple hopes they can be in contact with the student who receives their scholarship.
“When I was in college, I received an education scholarship, and I met with the donor and her and I are still in contact today six years later,” she said. “I’ve been on the receiving end of a scholarship and so I would really like to foster a relationship with the recipient and every recipient for years to come.”
The couple chose the name Rowyn after they met their daughter.
“We had a couple picked out that we liked, and we kept going back and forth and when we decided on Rowyn we just loved it,” Scott said.
Emily said living in a sorority house during her time at USD, she saw how hard nursing students work.
The couple hopes students will apply and that whoever receives their scholarship will put it to good use and will know they the couple are thinking of them.
“I know how competitive USD’s nursing program is and how skilled they are when they graduate and how prepared they are to enter the workforce,” she said. “Any touch of money goes a long way in college.”