January 31, 2022

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Shawnee State University senior Avery Booth chose to pursue nursing as her career. Going through SSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program with a minor in Psychology, Booth faced challenges and setbacks during her degree journey that she embraces as part of her path to success.

Avery Booth speaking to group of students
SSU senior, Avery Booth, shares her experience in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program with those recipients of the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program.

“I started as a Political Science major, but I quickly realized I was longing to join the Nursing program,” said Booth. “I faced different challenges as a student completing the program, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the rough patches I faced, I knew they were necessary for my path to success. The road is never easy in life, but sometimes you still have to take it.”

Booth recently spoke to future nurses in the SSU Department of Nursing who received the Choose Ohio First Scholarship. SSU awarded a limited number of these scholarships last year thanks to grant funding awarded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Students currently in the program participate in cohort events, held in partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center nurse members, that promote professional development, networking, and personal growth within the nursing field. Talking about her story of setbacks, obstacles, and eventual success, Booth hoped her words could inspire them through their nursing journey.

“Life is never easy,” said Booth. “It took an extra year to get my degree, I was becoming a nurse in one of the scariest times in the medical field, and I sometimes felt defeated. In the end, I know that was all important. It showed me that it’s okay to fail, okay to be scared, and okay to take your time. I could not be happier with my life – every nurse has to finish their degree on their own terms.”

Graduating later this semester, Booth suggests that SSU students do more than just get through their program. She credits her success and happiness as a Nursing student at the university to her involvement on campus.

“I was very active on campus during my time at SSU and it definitely helped me grow,” said Booth. “I was a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and found out that some of my best friends in it were also in the Nursing program with me. You never know where you’ll make connections that turn out to be study buddies, a best friend, and coworkers. It pays off to get involved.”

Funded in part through from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program is intended to help meet workforce needs in disadvantaged Ohio populations. The program is part of Ohio’s initiative to increase the number of degrees in STEM-related fields. Scholarships valued from $1,500 up to full tuition will be made with a possible combination of Choose Ohio First grant funding, institutional funds, and SSU Development Foundation scholarship funding.

SSU is currently accepting applications to the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program through Mar. 1, 2022 for the upcoming fall semester. Acceptance to one of SSU’s Nursing programs – two-year associate degree, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN completion, or LPN to RN completion – is required. The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2022 and can be found online at

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Department of Nursing programs, visit