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Boost your career with a scholarship

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The Florence Nightingale Foundation has funds for research, leadership and travel

The best nurse leaders continuously strive to improve their skills and gain experience or knowledge. Florence Nightingale Foundation scholarships have been providing nurses with the ability to focus on improving their practice by giving them fresh insight and expertise.

Applications for the foundation’s travel, research and clinical leadership scholarships are open now or will open next month.

If you’ve ever been keen to apply, but have been put off by the process, this article is for you.

Scholarship applications may seem tedious, but the time they take is worth it if you are awarded a scholarship to further your career. The Florence Nightingale Foundation offers three types of nursing scholarships - it is worth applying for all if you meet the qualifications.

Whether you need funding for travel, research or furthering leadership abilities, the foundation offers an opportunity to enhance your nursing career. It accepts applications from every area of care, and this year it is specifically looking for nurses who focus on long-term conditions, such as dementia, as well as enhancing clinical leadership, end-of-life care and projects to improve the patient experience.

Some hints and tips for applications

● You must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or the Health and Care Professions Council, and work and be a resident in the UK
● Links to other scholars or mentorship from a previous scholar are helpful
● Quality, not quantity, in experience and goals is sought
● Be clear about what you hope to achieve from the experience
● Think about how much to ask for, explain how and why you’d spend the money and what you would achieve

Travel scholarships worth up to £5,000 are available to undertake a study on an aspect of practice and/or education in the UK or overseas - scholars have travelled to places including Europe and parts of the US.

There are also leadership and research scholarships. Research scholarships provide up to £5,000 to undertake a course in research methods, research modules or a dissertation/thesis as part of an academic course of study.

To inform applicants how beneficial the scholarships can be, the foundation evaluated the three types. The results have been excellent.

The leadership scholarship has made promotions possible for recipients, improved their leadership styles, maximised their professional impact and provided them with the opportunity to publish work and given them the skills to offer improved patient care.

According to the evaluation of the leadership scholarships, 98% of recipients agree that the scholarship had a positive effect on their careers and 100% would encourage others to apply.

The reviews of the travel scholarship are positive as well. For example, one recipient says: “I gained a valuable insight into the nursing practice in the two countries, and I have been able to apply some of this when working with patients.”

Elizabeth Robb is a nurse and midwife, holds a degree in management and an MA in nursing. She was director of nursing and deputy CEO at East Somerset Trust and at North West London Hospitals Trust. She was appointed chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation in April 2010

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