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Josie Battaglia of Dawson named GSW’s 2024 Outstanding Scholar

AMERICUS (April 19, 2024) — Josie Battaglia, a nursing major from Dawson, Ga., was recently named Georgia Southwestern State University’s 2024 Outstanding Scholar, the University’s highest academic honor. Battaglia was recognized by Chancellor Sonny Perdue on Academic Recognition Day at the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) in Atlanta.

The USG Outstanding Scholars represent the system’s highest scholastic ideals and are selected by each individual institution. These students have a high GPA, strive for excellence and have the ability to share knowledge in various areas of expertise.

“I am very honored to have been chosen for this award,” said Battaglia. “Nursing school has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it is wonderful to be recognized for everything I’ve worked for. My passion for nursing is what helped me get through school. My main goal was to study not for the next test but for my future patients.”

Battaglia has made GSW’s honors list every semester since she began classes in Fall 2019. She has maintained a 3.95 GPA, putting her among the top of her class. In Fall 2023, she was accepted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. 

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse at the age of 8,” said Battaglia. “I had several health issues when I was younger that caused me to spend some time in the hospital. The hospital nurses made me feel safe and brave when I was scared. After that, I knew I wanted to be there for someone else the way they had been there for me. I consider it an honor to help patients in their most vulnerable times and have never taken that responsibility lightly.”

During her clinicals, Battaglia gained hands-on learning in several different hospitals. She worked in the ER, OR, ICU, NICU, medical-surgical floor, labor and delivery, mother and baby, pediatrics, and psychiatric units. This immersive experience allowed her to apply textbook knowledge into real-world situations and provide a firsthand understanding of the nursing profession, confirming her career choice.

Battaglia is thankful for her numerous academic scholarships and credits all of her professors for pushing her, particularly her advisor Connie Hammack. “She has taken the time to get to know everyone in my cohort, and her door is always open to us. She truly is a wonderful person and takes great care of all the students she advises.”

After graduation in May, Battaglia plans to work as a NICU nurse at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga. after passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

As recipient of this award, Battaglia and the other USG top students received a signed resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives and Chancellor Perdue.