Investing in our future
For the past 10 years, the South Shore Bursary Program has been helping students entering the healthcare field to achieve their goals. One of those student recipients was Rachel Eddy, who was first awarded the bursary in 2012 when she entered the Practical Nursing program at Nova Scotia Community College.
“It covered my tuition, so that was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I was able to complete the program without needing to get a student loan,” she explained.
In 2015, Rachel made the decision to return to university to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and was once again awarded the bursary.
“It was so nice to feel support and encouragement to advance my education.”
Deciding what career path to follow after high school is never an easy decision and not always a straight path; this is something Rachel knows all too well. After high school Rachel began a Bachelor of Commerce but quickly realized this wasn’t the path she wanted to follow.
After a lot of consideration, Rachel decided that health care was her calling and one month into the Practical Nursing program she realized she had made the right choice.
“My parents have a picture of my twin brother and me when we were five on career day at my elementary school. I was dressed up as a nurse. But then, when I was in high school and it was time to think about career paths, I hadn’t considered nursing,” she explained.
“I am so thankful I was able to find a career I enjoy so much and has already been so rewarding.”
Now working in the emergency department at South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, Rachel is excited to be working in and giving back to the community she grew up in.
Since the program began in 2006, the bursary program has supported 67 students in exchange for the students agreeing to work on the South Shore for the number of years they received the bursary. Of these, 28 have completed their return of service and are still working for the health authority, 15 are in the process of completing their return of service and 20 are still in school.
“This is a win-win for local students and for the health authority. The students receive much needed financial support and practical work experience and we gain new recruits to our workforce, who we’ve found, tend to stay after they’ve completed their return of service,” said Health Services Director and Site Leader Lynn Farrell.
The total investment to date has been more than $550,000. The program is sponsored by the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore, Queens General Hospital Foundation and Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
*Find out more about how to apply for current bursary programs HERE