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Care sector nurses offered £5000 scholarships

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The Florence Nightingale Foundation is inviting nurses working in the care sector to apply for a travel scholarship to help spread good practice.

The scholarship offers care sector nurses the opportunity to look at a particular aspect of care, such as end-of-life care, within the UK or overseas and find ways to introduce good practice and innovation elsewhere in the UK.

Sandra Blades, a registered nurse for Bupa Care Services, was awarded the scholarship in 2014/15 and used the oppportunity to examine the end-of-life care practices being developed in aged care facilities in Australia. Ms Blades visited the Good Death Project in Melbourne and was able to meet and share experiences with Bupa colleagues in Australia. She also met with academics and other professionals dedicated to this area of care.

Ms Blades has since been able to influence changes in her own working environment and introduce new initiatives such as a palliative care committee, journal club, and ongoing professional development for colleagues.

Ms Blades findings were published in Nursing and Residential Care (2016) in an article entitled “A good death: lessons learnt from an antipodean model”.

Her report includes recommendations for local, national (Bupa) and even government levels. Ms Blades sent a copy of her report to Iain Wright, her local MP, who passed it on to health secretary Jeremy Hunt, and her findings may influence future policy in this area.

“FNF supported me through every step of the way – ensuring I had coaching and mentoring from a more experienced practitioner for example - before undertaking the travel experience and for the ‘write-up’ on my return,” says Ms Blades. ”I think the Foundation allows nurses the opportunity to influence care policy and practices in a way that they don’t normally have in their day to day working arrangements. For that I’m grateful as it has given me direction to both develop my career and potentially make a difference in elderly care services in care homes.”

The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting scholarships in long term conditions, end of life care, and projects that improve the patient/user experience, enhance dignity, health or wellbeing across the whole life course. To be eligible you must be on the NMC register and should have at least two years’ professional experience.

For more general information on scholarships, contact The Florence Nightingale Foundation (admin@florence-nightingale-foundation.org.uk) or more on this project, contact Sandra (sandra.blades1@ntlworld.com)

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