Aboriginal nursing and midwifery scholarship and cadetship applications open

Follow your dreams: Registered nurse Amy Thompson and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams talk about nursing. Photo: Ivan Sajko
Follow your dreams: Registered nurse Amy Thompson and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams talk about nursing. Photo: Ivan Sajko

Applications are open for scholarship and cadetship programs to support Aboriginal people to become a nurse or midwife.

Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams announced that Aboriginal people seeking financial support in their studies to become a nurse or midwife can now apply for a NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship.

The scholarship provides up to $1000 a subject for Aboriginal students in a Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Midwifery degree and up to $15,000 for Aboriginal registered nurses or midwives undertaking postgraduate studies.

Applications have also opened for the NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery cadetship, which offers the opportunity to study an undergraduate nursing or midwifery degree in 2018 and receive mentoring and additional clinical support.

Kempsey registered nurse Amy Thompson said the NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery cadetship gave her support and financial assistance.

“You are in a team environment that nurtures you and builds you up to be an empathetic nurse,” she said about the clinical support. I’ve gained knowledge, insight and understanding.”

Ms Thompson, who was an endorsed enrolled nurse for a decade, had a passion to become a registered nurse. She completed her nursing degree at the University of Newcastle Port Macquarie Campus and received a NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Cadetship.

Ms Thompson encouraged others to apply.

“Never think that you can’t do it, because life is full of challenges, and it’s keeping your eye on the prize,” she said.

Noelene Brown was Ms Thompson’s mentor during the cadetship.

Ms Thompson will start in a new graduate nursing position at Kempsey District Hospital in February.

The NSW Aboriginal Nursing and Midwifery Cadetship offers a $600 a fortnight study allowance; $500 a semester book allowance; up to 12 weeks paid employment in a health facility; support from an Aboriginal mentor, cadet coordinator and additional clinical support; and ongoing employment on successful completion of your studies and the program.

Mrs Williams said the state government was committed to providing opportunities for Aboriginal people across NSW and she encouraged potential applicants to apply.

Applications for the cadetship program close on 19 January and applications for the scholarship close on February 16.

To apply, go to the NSW Health website or call 1800 155 325.