Valerie Bower

October 2, 2017

Valerie (Noble) Bower received her “call to nursing” when her third son was born. At the time she was the sole provider for the family and her husband Dustin was finishing his education.

Dustin accepted a pastorate at First Christian Church in Hastings in 2012 and the family moved from Lincoln in September. Their fourth son was born the next month and Valerie began looking for nursing schools.

“That was our agreement. I would support him as he completed his degree and then he would do the same for me,” said Valerie.

She enrolled in the Creighton Nursing program on the Mary Lanning Healthcare campus in 2014. She earned a 3.9 GPA and has been listed on the Dean’s list every semester. Valerie is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Hastings College chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Society and the Creighton University chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu. Having completed her summer internship at Mary Lanning, she plans to complete her senior preceptorship there before graduation, spring 2018.

“It hasn’t been easy,” said Valerie when asked how she balanced school and a busy family. “The family has made sacrifices, but this is an investment in our family’s future.”

Valerie plans to work at Mary Lanning Healthcare because “I’m happiest in the hospital setting. I completed all my rotations there and came to know what a blessing it is for our community.”

Dr. Donald Lunstra, and sons, Christopher and Dustin, established the Vickie Hughes Lunstra Memorial Scholarship Fund in October 2009 to provide financial assistance to nursing students in honor of their wife and mother.

With help from the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Lunstra created the scholarship, which stipulates applicants be considered based on their outgoing personality (similar to his late wife’s), financial need and intent to practice nursing at Mary Lanning Healthcare (MLH) or in south central Nebraska.

The Lunstras moved to the area in 1974 when he was hired as a research physiologist at the Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska. For 16 years, Vickie worked as a nurse in the Medical-Surgical Unit at MLH where she made many friends. She was as well known for her fun-loving personality as for her excellent nursing skills.

Sharon Hayek, MLH Director of Organizational Development, chairs the scholarship selection committee and the Mary Lanning Healthcare Foundation manages the scholarship fund and oversees communications with recipients and the Lunstra family.

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