Published on 31 January 2012
31 January 2012
University of the Sunshine Coast student Paula Lambert’s ambitions to join the front line of hospital health care received a shot in the arm recently in the form of a $10,000-a-year scholarship from the Australian Government.
The scholarship was awarded under the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme, which is funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and administered by the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA).
Paula of Maroochydore has already completed one year of her Bachelor of Nursing Science at USC, and is set to receive $20,000 over the next two years under the highly competitive scheme.
Her goal is to specialise in either emergency ward or intensive care unit nursing when she graduates.
“I couldn’t believe I got it,” Paula said about winning the scholarship. “I had to read the letter about three times to make sure I’d read it properly. It’s just awesome.
“I was really struggling with meeting the financial commitments of being a student and working at the same time, so I’m very thankful to RCNA and the Government for this.
“I’ll now be able to focus on my studies, developing my nursing skills and where I want to go when I finish my degree.”
Paula’s application to the scholarship scheme was assessed by an independent panel, which considered her answers to two key questions about how the scholarship will assist her in pursuing her nursing career, and how her life experience has demonstrated a commitment to nursing.
“I have worked as an Assistant in Nursing at a nursing home, at Meals on Wheels and as a volunteer for St John’s Ambulance for 10 years, so I’ve had a health background for quite some time,” she said.
Paula, who grew up in Darwin and graduated from Dripstone High School, said she initially wanted to become a paramedic but has since discovered how exciting nursing can be.
She said she was keenly looking forward to the hospital placements that lie ahead of her during her studies at USC.
— Terry Walsh