Margaret Parkinson scholarship awards for pre-registration graduates


Scholarships offering up to £2,500 per annum for graduates with a non-nursing degree who wish to commence nurse training.

The 2018/2019 scholarships are now closed. 

To be eligible to apply, graduates will need to have an upper second or first class degree and be commencing their first year on a nursing course between March 2018 and March 2019. Graduates domiciled outside the UK are not eligible to apply. 

How to apply - Full details of eligibility, an application form and application guidance are available to download here:

Margaret Parkinson Guidance 2018

Application Form 2018

Completed application will need to arrive no later than 5pm on 19 October 2018. 

If you have an enquiry about applying for a bursary or about your application then please contact the RCN Foundation via email or telephone 020 7647 3645.


Meet Catherine Jones, recipient of the Margaret Parkinson Scholarship in 2012


Catherine is a staff Nurse on a colo-rectal surgery ward at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. Originally from Northumberland, Catherine was awarded a Margaret Parkinson Scholarship in 2012 of £1,000 per annum for three years. Catherine used the scholarship to help support her living costs whilst studying nursing.   

• So Catherine, when and how did you decide to become a nurse? 

I qualified as a staff nurse in 2015 in Birmingham. I always knew deep down that I wanted to be a nurse but I didn't think I would be able to handle the 'blood and gore' - I took the risk and luckily I absolutely love my job! The nurse/patient relationship is unique and special - it is a privilege to be there for people when they are at their most vulnerable. 

• When did you apply for the RCN Foundation Margaret Parkinson Scholarship? 

Prior to commencing my nursing degree, my university, Birmingham City University, sent me an email with a link to apply for the Margaret Parkinson scholarship.  I already had a degree so had quite a large student loan behind me. My family supported me as much as possible but I was still going to have to work as much as possible to support myself. I thought I had nothing to lose by applying for the scholarship so went for it!

• What inspired you to apply for the scholarship?

When I read that the scholarship was for those who had already undertaken a non nursing related degree I thought 'this award was made for me!' - I was passionate about the degree I was about to start and wanted to give it my all - I knew the scholarship would help me to get the most out of my course.

• How did it feel when you knew you were successful?

Of course I had hoped that I would be successful but could had convinced myself that I wouldn't be. I remember receiving the letter and could not stop smiling. I was ecstatic and so proud of myself for being awarded the scholarship.

• What did you use the scholarship for?

I did not spend the scholarship on anything in particular, I used it to support myself in general whilst at university. In real terms it payed for my rent for three months enabling me to spend more time studying and less hours at my part time job. 

• How has the scholarship benefited you and your career? 

The scholarship meant that I could reduce the hours at my part time job and focus more on my studies. I achieved a 1st class honors degree and I believe I would not have achieved this without the money I received. As a result I secured my dream job on a surgical ward and am still there nearly two years later. 

• What advice/information would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for a Bursary?

Go for it! There is nothing to lose and so much to gain. Make sure you read the application requirements carefully and explain exactly how the bursary will help you and your patients. 

• Would you like to say anything about the RCN Foundation?

The RCN foundation is a wonderful, generous organisation who have been a huge part of my nursing journey so far. They strive to support more nurses year on year for no reason other that to improve the lives of nurses and their patients. If that isn't fantastic, I don't know what is!   

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