Nursing student realizing her dreams thanks to Pine Rest scholarship

Attending nursing school can be a bit overwhelming for anyone, especially when you are trying to pay your through by working and going to school at the same time, like Mia Warner-Bates.  Now thanks to a new scholarship program Warner-Bates has more freedom to make her dreams a reality. 

Warner-Bates first realized she wanted to pursue a career in the health care field while working at Sparrow Hospital as a housekeeper. She witnessed the special connection that nurses had with their patients and wanted that experience for herself.

A career in nursing began to appeal to her because nurses can specialize in many different areas within a hospital, like the intensive care unit, the emergency room, the psychiatric unit, and so many more. Her love of science and her desire to learn new skills and become involved with patients on a deeper level led her to seriously consider nursing school.  

When it came time to select a nursing program, the choice was easy for Mia. “I heard from current students and graduates that Davenport’s nursing program was excellent,” she said. “Everyone I talked to had nothing but good things to say about the program, and when a nurse of over 20 years tells you to go to Davenport, you listen!”  

When she started researching Davenport, she was thrilled to find out that there was a Lansing campus just minutes away from her home. While selecting a college was the first step toward achieving her dream of becoming a nurse, earning a scholarship was making her dream become reality. 

Pine Rest scholarship

Warner-Bates was awarded a nursing scholarship through Davenport but was worried that the remaining balance might keep her from the classroom. 

That piece of the puzzle began to fall into place while she watched the news one evening. She learned that Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, the third largest non-profit behavioral health provider in the U.S., offers a $40,000 scholarship for those pursuing a nursing degree at Davenport. In return, scholarship recipients agree to work at Pine Rest during nursing school and two years after earning their license. 

Warner-Bates applied immediately and was granted the scholarship and a part-time job as a nurse technician. The opportunity is life-changing for the Bates family.

“Receiving this scholarship means the world to my family and me. It allows me to go to college tuition-free and also means I don’t have to work quite as much while I’m in nursing school,” said Warner-Bates. “Plus, I’m a freshman in college and have a guaranteed job when I graduate,” she said. “How awesome is that?”

Gretchen Johnson, the Chief Nurse Executive at Pine Rest, said, “Pine Rest partnered with Davenport because we want excellent nurses working and caring for our patients. We believe in Davenport’s program; we know they graduate excellent nurses.” 

Amy Stahley, Interim Dean for Davenport’s College of Health Professions, agrees that the collaboration between Davenport and Pine Rest is mutually-beneficial. “Pine Rest is a world-class organization, and we’re proud to offer scholarship dollars to our students and real-world work experience helping those in need,” she said.

Nursing program accolades

Warner-Bates is thankful that she was able to apply to Davenport’s nursing program as a freshman without taking any prerequisites or being placed on a waitlist. She also appreciates the tutoring available to her and her small class sizes, which allows for more one-on-one time with professors.

 “I just love Davenport,” she said. “My nursing advisor is awesome, and my professors are wonderful! They are so supportive and take the time to get to know students on a personal level. They encourage questions and are more than willing to stay after class to help students work through topics they are struggling with. And, best of all, they have gone above and beyond to ensure that my accommodations (due to anxiety) are met.”

She says Davenport’s reputation of accepting and supporting nontraditional students like herself is something she has found to be true. “I like that I’m not the only person in my classes working full-time and raising a family. It makes me feel good to know that I’m not alone.” 

She encourages non-traditional students considering college not to let their fears get the best of them and to take the leap if it’s what’s best for them and their families. She wants them to know that it is possible if you believe in yourself and take it day by day.  

The future

The future looks bright for Warner-Bates, who is on track to earn her Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) degree in 2026. 

Her goal is to be a psychiatric nurse so she can help people like herself who suffer from anxiety and depression.  She feels her personal experiences and struggles will help her be a better nurse because she’ll be able to better understand what her patients are going through.

She says she has learned that life takes its unique twists and turns and looks forward to seeing where life takes her. 

Program snapshot

Davenport’s nursing program offers several degree paths to choose from, including Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees, as well as several certificate options. Davenport also has degree paths for those looking for a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. To learn more about Davenport and its nursing programs, click here. 

Potential candidates can learn more about the Pine Rest Academy for Nursing Students and apply for admission to the Nursing Program at Davenport here.


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