PHOTO: Nicole Golden-Montilus

Nicole Golden-Montilus

Nicole Golden-Montilus, RN CSN is the proud recipient of the 2021 Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts from Seton Hall University in 1995. Nicole went on to complete her Nursing Degree at Felician University in 2000. She earned her Certificate in School Nursing (CSN) in 2008 and anticipates graduating with her Masters degree in Nursing Leadership in 2022 at Kean University. Nicole is also a 2021 Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing inductee. Nicole's current focus is to utilize her future Master’s Degree in Nursing Leadership to become Director of Nursing in New Jersey Public School districts and Professor for School Nursing Certification programs. 

Nicole’s nursing journey started in 2000 as a hospital staff nurse, working on multiple units ranging from neuroscience, high risk antepartum, labor and delivery, medical-surgical to renal/dialysis. It wasn’t until 2008 when Nicole switched nursing careers path and became a full time School Nurse. School nurses are a specialized nursing practice that advances students well-being, academic success, and promotes lifelong healthy habits. We are the glue that holds a student's health care journey together. We are not only an integral part of the health-care system, by delivering excellent care and support but are advocates on our students behalf every single day! 

After many years working as a school nurse, Nicole noticed that minority school nurses were not well-represented in many school districts, which motivated her to finish her Masters degree with the aspiration of becoming Director of Nursing in a Public School district. Nicole wants to further diversify nursing leadership in the workforce. She understands that efforts to diversify the nursing workforce not only include recruitment but advanced education, strong problem solving, organizational skills and leadership capabilities. In order to be fully prepared, secure and advance to the next level in these leadership roles, she knew that not only being a nurse for over twenty years was enough but she needed to go back to school to further her education. 

Nicole’s long term professional goal is to also become an educator and teach future nursing students. She wants to help guide and shape our future nurses. Nicole’s ultimate goal is to give back and contribute to a profession that has given her so much. School nursing has inspired her to look for the meaning in everyday life and to explore the cause and effect of the relationship between health and disease. Her students, patients and community have taught her that health, family, friends and meaningful work is what’s really important in life.

Nicole is beyond honored to receive this annual award in honor of Estelle Massey Osborne, who was the first African American nurse in the U.S. to earn a master’s degree and become an assistant professor at New York University. As Nicole thinks of all of the African-American nurses before her, she wants to make them proud and honor their legacies. She wants to continue to hold the torch that was passed down to her through continuing her education and bridging the gap between racial disparities, help extinguish stereotypes, break the minority stigma, and further diversify school nurses. Thank you, Freedmen's Hospital School of Nursing, Alumni Clubs, Inc. and Nursing Educational Funds, Inc for rewarding me with Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship.

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