Two aspiring nurses have received scholarships to complete their degrees at Flinders University’s Renmark campus, in honour of Loxton-born nurse Kirsty Boden.
Third year nursing students Kerry Truscott of Renmark and Alana Stephenson of Monash are the recipients of the $10,000 Kirsty Boden Memorial Nursing Scholarships towards their 2020 studies.
The annual scholarship, supported by a grant from the Government of South Australia, is named after local nurse and Flinders Distinguished Alumna Kirsty Boden who lost her life in the London Bridge terror attacks in 2017.
Nursing student Kerry Truscott says she feels “appreciative and honoured” to accept the scholarship, which will allow her to carry out a career aspiration she’s had since childhood.
“I remember dreaming of being a nurse when I was a child but didn’t really want to move to Adelaide after I finished high school and be away from my family and friends.
“The opportunity to study in Renmark meant that I could pursue nursing without moving my family away to Adelaide.
“The option of part-time study was a big drawcard for me and allowed me to start my degree and balance family and work life. We are very fortunate to have the Flinders campus in Renmark. Studying in Adelaide was not an option for me.”
Nursing peer Alana Stephenson works as a direct care attendant in an aged care facility in addition to her studies and says pursuing a nursing degree allows her to boost her skills and opportunities.
“I am drawn to the variety of career options available in nursing and not knowing what is going to walk through the door at any one moment,” she says.
“The fast pace of nursing intrigues me.”
Flinders University undergraduate nursing program course coordinator, Associate Professor Pauline Hill, says the role of nurses remains more important than ever in the current global pandemic.
“Registered nurses are the largest group of health professionals with approximately 11.5 nurses for every 1,000 people in Australia (2015), the highest of any OECD country. In Australia in 2015 there were approximately 3.5 doctors per 1,000 people so nurses are critical for the health workforce,” she says.
“As nurses remain predominantly female and whilst parental responsibilities remain more common among women, there is constant staff movement in nursing creating frequent opportunities for new roles and career development.”
Ms Truscott and Ms Stephenson say they hope to continue the legacy of Ms Boden by becoming passionate, selfless and brave registered nurses.