RG Scholarships

Nursing skills critical for Bermuda

Financial help available to support this worthwhile and in demand career
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Nursing is considered one of the most trusted professions. The demand for qualified nurses grows each year as Bermuda’s population ages, along with the need to care for patients with chronic illnesses. Nursing is a rewarding profession that allows individuals to significantly impact their community.

Nurses provide care at many levels, from health promotion and wellness to chronic illness and hospice care. The ability to help others and comfort them during challenging times can be rewarding and motivating for anyone pursuing this profession.

Karen Grant-Simmons

The core values of nursing, according to Karen Grant-Simmons, the president of the Bermuda Nurses Association (BNA), include trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, care and compassion. The focus of nursing is centered on patients across their lifespan, from birth to end-of-life. Anyone pursuing this profession must adhere to these values and uphold and maintain nursing standards at the highest level.

The BNA scholarship, the Iris Almeria Davis Scholarship, is for undergraduate students enrolled in a pre-licensure programme, graduate students who choose to advance their career in a specialty, and students enrolled in an Advanced Practice Nursing programme. Eligible students must be residents of Bermuda and enrolled in an accredited or approved nursing programme. Registered Nurses must be members of the BNA.

Other organisations, for example the Bermuda Hospitals Board and Workforce Development, also offer scholarships to nurses. This information can be found online.

Nadine Blake

The current BNA scholarship winner, Nurse Nadine Blake, shared that the BNA’s philosophical aim is maintaining the betterment of the nursing profession by promoting nursing in Bermuda. As such, her plans after completing her education include becoming a nurse educator and “nurturing the next generation of nurses.”

There are diverse career opportunities for persons entering the profession. There are nurses at the bedside in a hospital or acute care facility providing direct care, as well as advance practicing nurses such as a nurse anaesthetist and nurse practitioners. Some nurses work in the community at the Health Department or with a private agency. A nurse may work with an organisation as a wellness coach, case manager, or educator. Other areas include research, school nursing, informatics, and nurse entrepreneurs who own and manage health-related businesses.

The benefits of nursing may include flexibility and work-life balance. There are opportunities for flexibility in work schedules where nurses can choose to work full-time or part-time during the day, night, weekdays, or weekends to suit their personal preferences. Job stability and competitive salaries benefit someone starting their nursing career or choosing to transition from another profession to nursing.

Continued professional development and advancement within the nursing profession is another benefit for a nurse. The current entry level for nursing in Bermuda is a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. These pre-licensure programmes provide the educational requirements for graduates to complete the examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). A new graduate must gain valuable experiences and opportunities to grow and develop as a qualified professional RN. Nurses must stay up to date with the advancements in best practices and technology in healthcare.

Nurses are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced degrees, certifications, or specialisations in specific areas of interest, to expand their knowledge and scope of practice. The Advanced Practice Nurse, Public Health Nurse and Nurse Midwife are specialties in the nursing profession that provide opportunities for nurses to become primary caregivers and provide preventative care measures for the community.

Zita Pitt

Do you think this might be a career path that interests you? If you’re considering becoming a part of the  nursing profession, previous scholarship recipients, nurses Zita Pitt and Janice Sealey-Khan, expressed how obtaining a scholarship helped them on their journey and how it can help you, too.

Nurse Pitt explained: “Obtaining a scholarship assisted in easing my financial burden and allowed me to fully concentrate on my studies. My books, tuition, and overseas travel to obtain clinical experience were all covered. It took a big burden off my shoulder and placed my mind at ease”.

She advised that if you have an interest in nursing and need to apply for a scholarship to make your dreams a reality, you should go for it: “There is assistance out there for those who are interested in nursing. You will not know if you do not try, so apply! Show your passion and keep the faith. Keep positive thoughts that and you will be a successful candidate because guess what, you will be. Follow your dreams and do not lose sight of them. Apply for those scholarships!”

Nurse Sealey-Khan echoed this: “Being a recipient of the Iris Almeria Davis Scholarship has not only eased the financial burden that I would have grappled with in my quest to advance my education but also has made me more determined to attain my educational objectives.”

Janice Sealey-Khan

She shared that being awarded her scholarship helped her to live her dream of “delivering safe, compassionate, and quality nursing care” to the sick and contribute to a healthy society whilst leaving an indelible mark in the nursing profession.

Her advice? “Don’t hesitate with the application process and do not be afraid of stepping out in faith. To quote Joel Osteen, I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you are grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.”

To sum it up, Nurse Grant-Simmons shared that the nursing profession has been fulfilling and rewarding. I will continue to say that “nursing is my calling, it is my passion, it is my life”. She explained that being a member of the BNA not only opens the gateway to scholarships, but also affords the opportunity to receive tuition reduction from Walden University.

Contact the BNA for more information, but Nurse Grant-Simmons emphasised: “Assistance is available for all those who have the desire to pursue a career in this noble profession.”

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