Scholarship Recipients: Where Are They Now? Gillian VanDiepen


June 5, 2020—

As expensive as tuition has become over the past years, few degrees are as worth the investment as nursing.

Gillian VanDiepen (formerly Gillian Cheney) — as a recent college graduate with a job locked in amidst turbulent economic conditions — has quickly discovered this.

If you remember Gillian as a server from any of the past six years at the Club, you may already know that her true motivation for entering the field was not chiefly financial.

“I always knew health care was my path, but I wasn’t set on nursing until I realized how much patient interaction is involved,” Gillian recalls.

“I knew that’s what I wanted.”

Gillian VanDiepen, second from left, with her fellow nursing students.

Gillian landed at the University of Sioux Falls, where she began her academic career with a major in biology.

Although passionate about medicine and health care, Gillian is extremely gifted in the arts. She was able to act on this through a minor in theater.

“It was definitely more for fun, but it was also a good way for me to practice communication with different types of people. It will definitely help my goals in nursing as far as becoming more empathetic.

“Plus, it was an outlet from the day-to-day of nursing school,” she chuckled.

Gillian has a special interest in labor & delivery, which is where she did her final preceptorship as a senior.

Outside of her professional life, there’s even better news in Gillian’s personal life — she was married last August!

When we first caught up with Gillian, she had just taken her nursing board exam the day prior. Results were set to arrive within 48 hours, so needless to say, the air was heavy with anticipation.

Not even an hour after our call ended did Gillian find out the results: PASS!

We are so proud of Gillian and her dedication to her profession.

Graduation from nursing school is no faint achievement, let alone the time and effort required to pass a board exam. No doubt, she is ready for her upcoming position as an RN in the medical oncology unit at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, SD.

“I can’t thank The Prairie Club and its members enough for helping provide me with the opportunity to get my education,” she beamed.

“I’m so grateful.”

And we’re grateful for her outstanding work, both inside and outside our property.

We also would like to extend another note of gratitude to all of the members who have contributed to The Prairie Club Foundation’s scholarship program over the years.

Your generosity is truly making a beautiful impact.