Faculty of Health

Scholarship provides welcomed boost to nursing and research career

For nurse Lee Woods, receiving the University of Tasmania’s The District Nurses Elite Research Scholarship in Nursing puts her closer to realising her dream of making a significant difference in the field of healthcare improvement.

The scholarship was donated by the District Nurses as part of its 120th anniversary, to provide support for talented students undertaking research in the area of nursing.

A Clinical Nurse Specialist (Cardiology) at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Sydney, Mrs Woods is studying her PhD in Nursing at the University’s Darlinghurst Campus, which she has found a rewarding journey.

“After 10 years of clinical nursing in the acute hospital setting, it’s been incredibly empowering to embark on this research journey, highlighting gaps in current care and making positive change to improve this care,” she said.

“As the PhD is a research degree with a healthcare improvement focus, I aim to improve the health of populations, not just the six patients I care for during one shift.”

Mrs Woods said the scholarship of close to $30,000, was a great benefit both personally and to her field of study, which focused on improving the wellness of adult out-patients who had heart failure and wished to continue to live at home.

“The District Nurses Elite Scholarship financially supports me to study full-time,” she said.

“It allows my release from ward duties to effectively and efficiently conduct my research project.

“Graduating within three to four years (compared to eight years part-time) benefits the people my research project is targeting, much earlier.”

The District Nurses is a charitable, not for profit organisation which has been providing in home and community care services to Tasmanians for 120 years.

“The District Nurses are a unique collection of experienced, highly qualified healthcare professionals committed to equality in healthcare, supporting the patient voice and delivering excellent care,” Mrs Woods said.

“It is such an honour to be selected as the Elite Research Scholarship recipient.”

In the long-run Mrs Woods hopes to use her studies to make a difference to the health system and to continue research into improving the experience of patients.

“When I graduate, I aspire to teach the next generation of nurses (such as being a Bachelor of Nursing lecturer) and/or continue in the research stream.”

The District Nurses is also supporting two other University of Tasmania scholarships worth $20,000, for students commencing a Bachelor of Nursing.

Applications for the District Nurses Scholarship in Nursing close on 31 October, 2016.