RCN Bursary Schemes

Making a difference

Read about the education, training and projects some of our bursaries have funded.

Daniel has worked both voluntarily and as a full-time support worker in mental health and learning environments. The experience he has gained in these roles has cemented his dedication and ambition to advance his career in mental health care.

With aspirations to be at the forefront of mental health nursing research, his Margaret Parkinson Scholarship is helping him to achieve his ambitions and enable him to continue his studies in this chosen field.

Suzanne and Mary are two experienced, passionate and enthusiastic community psychiatric nurses working with people with dementia in Scotland. They realised that there was a gap in services offered for people in the early and middle stages of the illness, leaving those struggling with a new diagnosis alone. Resources were limited, so they applied for a Dementia Nursing Care Bursary and received funding to pilot a series of small workshops for patients. They found that working in a small group allowed participants to receive one-to-one attention, but also meant that they didn’t feel pressurised to talk or engage with the activity, which can cause stress.

They say: "Although the project was small, the people involved saw real benefits and we hope this format can be rolled out elsewhere in future. We are sharing our findings by submitting reports to different dementia organisations and hope to get an article published. This wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the bursary scheme."

Cheryl is studying for a graduate diploma in mental health nursing, and has received an annual bursary from the Margaret Parkinson Scholarship Fund to help pay living expenses. She is now coming to the end of the course and hopes to work in a community team caring for those with mental health crises. Cheryl says: "I would just like to thank all involved with the scholarship for selecting me as a recipient. Not only did it help me financially, but it gave me a morale boost."

Theresa is a nurse in a community hospital in Nottingham. She wanted to improve the care offered to patients with dementia in this general setting, and so applied for funding through the Dementia Bursary programme. The grant she received meant that the hospital could develop a reusable learning programme for all staff and students to be educated about dementia and in person-centred care. The team also purchased communication tools and reminiscence materials to kick start meaningful conversations with patients. Theresa says: "With better understanding comes better care. Without the bursary we would not have been able to achieve anywhere near as much as we have, and the impact will be felt for many years to come."

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