Navi Nurses creates scholarship for ASU nursing students
On-demand nursing service got its start with ASU Venture Devils
Navi Nurses has experienced spectacular growth in its short time in business. In 2020, the nurses-on-demand startup received an initial investment of $10,000 from Arizona State University’s Venture Devils to launch the company.
At an event celebrating the many successes of Navi Nurses and everyone who helped make them happen, Bhatti and Said surprised attendees by announcing a $25,000 endowed scholarship for students in ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
“It was really meaningful to give back to the university in general because they’re a really significant part of our story and how we’ve taken off,” Bhatti said. “But we wanted to make sure we focused on nurses because there are so many nurses who are leaving the profession, and there’s never been a more important time to really fortify the nursing workforce.”
On top of running a flourishing business, Bhatti is also an Edson College PhD student. In fact, it was during her time as a teacher’s assistant for ASU 101 that she started to pursue her idea for Navi Nurses. She met Said at a startup event when they were both registered nurses at a local hospital, and they joined forces to bring the idea to life.
From the beginning, they knew giving back would be an integral part of the company’s culture because it’s an innate part of who they are.
“When I think about my mom, we’re not financially well off; we came to his country as refugees and she’s always given back,” Said shared. “Even when we were just starting Navi Nurses, we provided charity care when it was just us two. It is ingrained in us, so it’s not unusual, but it does feel good to do it at this level.”
Being able to aid future nurses in this way is especially rewarding for the two founders, and they say it’s crucial for the students to see nurses supporting nurses to help foster a sense of community in the field.
Although the scholarship bears Navi Nurses' name, it's in honor of their first clients, Steve and Liz Lindsay. The couple took a chance on the young startup and have become a major part of their story.
“They became like family to us, we spent a lot of time with them and he was a philanthropist. This is another way to keep his memory alive,” Said explained.
“It's really special because Liz is part of this, which is really meaningful for her and for us. She gets to help select the students the scholarship will go to, and she was part of the process of putting it all together,” Bhatti said.
The first scholarship will be awarded in 2024. It will be for students demonstrating financial need in the nursing (entry to nursing practice) master’s program.
Edson College Dean Judith Karshmer was delighted to accept the check on behalf of the college.
“What Jasmine and Ayan have built is exciting, it’s innovative and it’s exactly what health care needs right now,” Karshmer said. “I’m so impressed by their entrepreneurship and leadership. They’re making an impact in nursing on so many levels from the jobs they create to the students’ lives they’ll change through this scholarship. I’m glad they chose Edson College to be a part of their legacy.”
Next up for Navi Nurses is leading a pilot program in partnership with HonorHealth to support patients transitioning home. They were recently awarded $1.5 million from the American Nurses Association’s Reimaging Nursing Initiative for the project.