The 2014 Rural Women NZ/Access Homehealth scholarship has been awarded to Bay of Plenty nurse Ellen Walker.
Ellen is studying to become a rural health nurse practitioner, and will use the $3000 scholarship to help fund her post-graduate diploma studies at the University of Auckland.
Ellen’s goal is to become a rural nurse practitioner in Opotiki, the community she grew up in and where she currently works in general practice.
“I am immensely grateful for the support from Rural Women NZ and Access Homehealth,” says Ellen. “Born and bred a country girl I understand what it is to be rural and what it takes to deal with illnesses in a rural setting. Distance can be a big issue. My aim to improve access to quality health care for rural New Zealand.”
Access Homehealth CEO, Graeme Titcombe, says, “Ellen was chosen for her academic excellence, professional dedication in providing medical care to rural communities, and for the potential benefit her study can bring to the rural sector she serves.”
The annual Rural Women NZ/Access Homehealth scholarship is given to health worker who wishes to further their health or disability studies at post-graduate level, with a focus on the rural sector. Ellen was chosen from a strong field of 20 applicants.
Ellen has already completed a non-prescribing practicum and is an advanced nurse in rural practice, having completed a Masters of Nursing last year.
Her new studies will enable her to prescribe medications, following changes to the New Zealand Nursing Council’s scope of practice for nurse practitioners last year.