Spirit of Edith Cavell keeps on helping others


The Edith Cavell Trust – established by the NSWNA to commemorate Edith Cavell, a British army nurse who was executed in World War I – awards scholarships to NSWNA members to support their nursing research and education. The call is now out for applications for 2007 scholarships.

Edith Cavell remains an inspiration to nurses everywhere. After a distinguished nursing career in England, she was invited by a surgeon to establish a nursing school in Brussels. When World War 1 started, Edith stayed to nurse wounded soldiers, some of them Germans.

Tragically she was executed by the German authorities because of her heroic efforts to help Belgian and other allied refugees to escape.

In 1992, the NSW Nurses’ Association formed the Edith Cavell Trust as a significant and enduring way to commemorate Edith Cavell. It was established to support members and associate members of the NSWNA in nursing research and nurse education, now and for future generations of nurses.

This year 69 members are benefiting from Edith Cavell scholarships and the call is now out for applications for 2007.
Scholarship provided helping hand for further education

Kathryn Watts, CNS with Acute/Post Acute Care at Royal North Shore Hospital, was one of last year’s recipients and received assistance in completing a Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing.

Kathryn recognised that to be more useful in her role as a breast cancer nurse she needed further education. She said, ‘Studying and working full time was very challenging. While the course was one of the most difficult I have done, it has been invaluable in my more advanced role as a breast cancer nurse and multi-disciplinary team leader.’

Kathryn’s advice to members is to apply for the scholarship if you are planning to study. ‘Thanks to the Edith Cavell Trust for the financial support, which has afforded me an opportunity that I will never forget.’

Help to complete RN education
Caraline Sullivan used the scholarship to meet the financial requirements of her final year studying a Bachelor of Nursing degree through Charles Sturt University.

Caraline is enjoying her new role as a registered nurse. ‘The knowledge I gained has broadened my approach to nursing. I have a heightened sense of responsibility for my nursing actions and the consequences of these actions. I feel I can provide a more holistic approach to nursing care with a deeper understanding of the rationales behind my nursing actions.’

Caraline said, ‘The scholarship was very much appreciated and the assistance, in turn, contributed to lowered stress of managing the everyday necessities of life like paying my mortgage while studying.’