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Scholarship Information for Students

Individual scholarships vary in criteria, but all applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher and full-time students must be taking 9 or more credits. Some scholarships require a work commitment agreement with Benefis while others do not. Download a work commitment agreement.

There is a single application for all scholarships offered through the Healthcare Scholarship Program.*

Download the Healthcare Scholarship Program application and the Consent and Disclosure Form (must be completed by each applicant).

*The Terry L. Jackson, M.D. Memorial Scholarship for students in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Great Falls College-MSU is the only exception. It has a separate application and deadline of October 1. Download the Terry L. Jackson, M.D. Memorial Scholarship application.

The Healthcare Scholarship Program Committee determines which scholarship(s) each applicant is eligible for based on criteria, and then the selection process begins. The award maximum is $2,500 a semester or $5,000 a year and is based on funds available.

Medical students—please note that separate scholarships will be available soon that are designed specifically to support students pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Call Benefis Foundation at (406) 455-5840 for more information.

Students who were awarded scholarships the previous year can complete a renewal application, which goes through the same selection process. Renewal applicants do not need to complete another Consent and Disclosure Form.

Click here to download the Healthcare Scholarship Program renewal application.

Learn more about the individual scholarships below, listed in the order they were established.

Benefis Foundation’s first named scholarship endowment was created in 1998 to assist LPNs and other care providers in becoming registered nurses or to support RNs to pursue an advanced nursing degree.

John Skees established this scholarship in memory of his wife, Darlene, in gratitude to those who cared for her.

This scholarship is for Montana State University students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing or BSNs pursing graduate degrees.

Created in 1983 to honor a registered nurse who served nearly 35 years at Montana Deaconess Medical Center, the Doris Smith Scholarship honors Doris’ devotion and interest in the future of nursing.

Deaconess Hospital opened in 1898 thanks to Reverend William Wesley Van Orsdel. An endowment to provide nursing scholarships was created in the late 1980s in memory of this hospital co-founder.

The Doris Smith Scholarship and the Van Orsdel Scholarship were later combined to create one nursing scholarship endowment.

The Jane M. Buckman Husted Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established in 1999 by Paul and Lori Husted to benefit students pursuing RN degrees. Eligible students must be an ADN or RN pursuing a BSN.

Paul served as a founding director of Benefis Health System Foundation. The scholarship is named in honor of Paul's mother, Jane M. Buckman Husted, who was a registered nurse for more than 35 years and served a tour of duty with the Army Nursing Corps in Tokyo.

Dr. Bill and Lynn Bloemendaal created this endowment in 2002 to provide funds for the Benefis Foundation Healthcare Scholarship Program. The scholarship is for students who want to obtain or earn an advanced healthcare education or certification.

Dr. Bloemendaal is a long-time orthopedic surgeon, founding director of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors, and current member of the Benefis Health System Board of Directors.

Kathy Rice created this endowment in 2003 to support the Benefis Foundation Healthcare Scholarship Program. The scholarship is for students who want to obtain or earn an advanced healthcare education or certification.

Kathy served as a founding director of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors.

This endowment was established in 2003 by Fran and the late Jim Wylder. The scholarship is for students who want to obtain or earn an advanced healthcare education or certification.

Fran is a founding director of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors.

Neil and Evie Ugrin established this endowment in 2003 in memory of Neil's parents, Ed and Ethel. The scholarship is for students who want to obtain or earn an advanced healthcare education or certification.

Evie served as a founding director of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors and her late husband Neil served as legal counsel for Benefis Health System from the time of the merger of Montana Deaconess Medical Center and Columbus Hospital in 1996 until he passed away in 2007.

This scholarship endowment was established through Margaret Wynn’s living trust and funded after she passed away in 2005. This scholarship assists LPNs, EMTs, or CNAs in obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. It also provides the opportunity for RNs to obtain a bachelor’s degree and the opportunity for RNs with a bachelor’s to pursue a specialty training certification or a post-graduate degree.

Margaret Wynn worked as a nurse in Great Falls for many years and desired to help nurses employed at Benefis to advance their education.

October 1 is the application deadline for this Physical Therapist Assistant Scholarship.

This scholarship assists students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Great Falls College - Montana State University. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be enrolled in the program.

Selections will be made through the Benefis Foundation’s Healthcare Scholarship Selection Committee. The amount and number of scholarships awarded is subject to change each year.

Paula Jackson established a scholarship endowment fund in 2007 to honor her late husband, Dr. Terry Jackson, who specialized in pain management, physical medicine, and rehabilitation, and served as Director of Rehabilitation at Columbus Hospital.

Following the tragic Mercy Flight crash in February 2007, two scholarship funds were created in memory of Darcy Dengel and Paul Erickson, two crew members who died in service that day.

The Darcy Dengel Nursing Scholarship was established to assist students in Montana pursuing a BSN or master's degree in nursing. The Paul Erickson Paramedic Scholarship was established to assist students attending a paramedic program in Montana.

Both of the Mercy Flight Memorial Scholarships are for books and tuition only. The amount and number of scholarships awarded is subject to change.

The Julie Hickethier Nursing Scholarship Endowment, created in 2011, gives preference to students from Great Falls Central or students pursing degrees at Carroll College, but is not limited to those specifications. The scholarship benefits students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or BSN's pursing graduate degrees.

Julie Hickethier graduated from the Carroll College Nursing Program and served the next 19 years in the Emergency Department before moving into administration at Benefis, where she worked until 2014.

The Cecil and Dorothy Goodbrand Nursing Scholarship was established by the late Cecil and Dorothy Goodbrand, who named the Benefis Foundation as the beneficiary of their substantial estate. The scholarship is available for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing or registered nurses pursuing a graduate degree.

The Deborah A. Wilson Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established to honor Deb Wilson’s passion for caring for cancer patients and their families. This scholarship is available for registered nurses pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree, with a preferred emphasis in oncology. Physician Assistants who want to advance in oncology as a specialty may also apply.

The Benefis Family Scholarship was created in 2012 to benefit Benefis employees and their children and to honor those within our Benefis family who have passed away. The scholarship is for students obtaining or advancing their education in a healthcare-related field, covering everything from nursing to information technology.

The goal of this scholarship is to improve recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals to better serve our patients. It also gives Benefis employees and others in our community an opportunity to honor their lost loved ones.

The Bonnie Gardner Nursing Scholarship, created in 2014, is for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree or for BSNs pursing graduate degrees.

This scholarship was established by the late Bonnie Gardner, who worked as a nurse for many years and named Benefis Health System Foundation as the beneficiary of her estate.

Rich and Donna Dengel of Lewistown established this named endowment scholarship in memory of their daughter to help students who share Darcy’s childhood dream of one day becoming a nurse.

This scholarship benefits students pursuing a BSN or master’s degree in nursing.

Darcy's Place

Darcy Dengel's family also created a foundation in her memory called Darcy's Place. The foundation provides a nursing scholarship to assist students pursuing a BSN or master's degree. To find out more or to apply for the scholarship, please visit www.darcysplace.org.