Bursary success: Aileen's story Aileen Fraser

Aileen Fraser, clinical director of Bristol Community Health was awarded an RCN Foundation Professional Bursary. The £5,000 she received helped her to develop an educational module and competency framework for practitioners who are working at an advanced level with frail older people.

"Without the bursary, I’m not sure that I could have developed this work. It would certainly have been very difficult," says Aileen.

Available twice a year in April and October, these bursaries of up to £5,000 are available for activities that focus on primary care nursing or long-term chronic conditions, including obesity, mental health and older people’s nursing. For Aileen, the award’s flexibility was a key attribute.

"You can decide what you need to spend the money on to help you achieve your goal - and that’s really useful," she explains. In her case, funding helped to free up capacity to carry out the work she needed to do, alongside paying for her to attend an RCN conference on advanced practice.

Aileen found the application process straightforward, even though it involved an interview by a panel. "It was intensive but I actually found it very useful because it helped to develop my thinking," she recalls. “If you have an idea for a service improvement and you need to help to put it into practice, then these bursaries can really help you to carry something through.”

For details of current scholarships and bursaries, please visit our Bursary schemes web page.