Foundation for late Mason Nurse funds grants for Mason Nursing graduates

Bridget Flynn Nesko
Bridget Flynn Nesko

In memory and honor of Bridget Flynn Nesko, BSN, RN, a proud Mason Bachelor of Nursing alum, her family, friends, and even former patients established the Bridget Nesko Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation’s first task was the creation of the Bridget Nesko Memorial Courage Award at Mason’s School of Nursing. The award will provide one student per semester—twice a year throughout the next decade—a $500 stipend and a plaque honoring their courage in overcoming the challenges Bridget faced as she struggled to earn her own nursing degree.  

Less than 16 years after earning her nursing degree from George Mason University, Philadelphia area native Bridget Nesko, BSN, RN lost her life to the ravages of ovarian cancer. An active and passionate nurse, publisher of two community newspapers and a monthly magazine, and host of a Philadelphia area radio program, Nesko dedicated her life to helping people. “It was what drove her,” said her husband of 27 years, Kevin Nesko. 

“Bridget Flynn Nesko exemplifies what it means to be a Mason student and a Mason Nurse. This award will not only help inspire future Mason Nurses but provide assistance in completing their health care education so they may go on to help others in their communities, just like Bridget did,” said Senior Director of Development Julie Kaplan. 

According to the Foundation website (BridgetAngelFund.Org), “Given Bridget’s overwhelming appreciation for the opportunities afforded her through her experience attending the George Mason University School of Nursing, her memorial Foundation has committed to invest in George Mason with the creation of the ‘Bridget Nesko Memorial Courage Award.’" 

The funds given to the award winner can help defray the costs associated with the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), or for related expenses to enable them to begin their health care career. 

At graduation from George Mason University School of Nursing in 2006, Nesko was awarded the Kitty Parker Smith Leadership Award in recognition of her hard work and dedication to helping fellow students advance, serving in a leadership position with the Student Nurses’ Association and for working hard to help raise funds and community awareness for and about the University and its nursing program. According to the Foundation website, “that award meant the world to Bridget – and since that time, she hoped to create some type of award similar to the one she received – but in recognition for a student’s accomplishments in the face of personal adversity.”  

In November 2022, Nesko died at her home in New Jersey from ovarian cancer at 55 after a 17-month battle against the disease. A 501c3 charity, the memorial Foundation also provides scholarships to children of families impacted by ovarian cancer, does grassroots advocacy for ovarian cancer awareness, and promotes the use of a CA-125 blood and genetic testing for women unable to obtain it, to aid in early ovarian cancer detection. Since Nesko’s death, the Foundation has committed more than $21,000 towards scholarships, awards, advocacy, and testing.