Mediserve Indigenous Nursing Scholarship
Without the assistance of the Mediserve Indigenous Nursing Scholarship, 30-year-old Jared Merritt admits he would have struggled to complete the nursing degree that has now set him on his career path as a nurse.
As one of few Aboriginal and male students studying the Bachelor of Nursing (Preregistration) at Flinders University, Jared found it challenging to persevere at times, but the scholarship support he received in 2020 enabled him to endure and thrive in his studies.
‘It did a lot to boost my confidence,’ says Jared from the Larrakia nation in the Northern Territory. ‘Quite a few times I felt like quitting because I was getting overwhelmed. I had my young daughter to support and rent to pay, so I had a lot more responsibilities than most of the younger nursing students.’
‘Getting the scholarship gave me a huge boost – not only financially, but also psychologically. It gave me a push in the right direction,’ says Jared.
Mediserve is a national nursing agency that has provided staff for health facilities around Australia for 20 years. Recognising the shortage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and healthcare workers, the organisation created the Indigenous Nursing Scholarship at Flinders University to help bolster the number of these graduates.
‘We believe it’s incredibly important to support Aboriginal nurses to deliver culturally safe care to further community wellbeing,’ says Anzir Annes, Chief Financial Officer of Mediserve.
‘We are so pleased the scholarship could provide Jared with the support he needed to complete his degree, and now be working in the community providing care as a nurse.’
Jared received the scholarship in the second year of his nursing degree, and this helped to reinforce his decision to pursue a nursing career as a matureage student.
‘I’d tried quite a few jobs that weren’t right – service jobs, cleaning – and had started studying IT, but I didn’t like being stuck in an office cubicle in front of a screen. I realised that I wanted a more meaningful career, and that I wanted to help people – and nursing has been the right fit’.
Having finished his nursing degree at the end of 2021, Jared is now working in a public hospital across a range of wards, providing him with well-rounded experience for his nursing future.
‘After years of study it’s exciting to now be launching my nursing career,’ says Jared. ‘Once I get more experience, I’d really like to get involved in mentoring to help others through their degree.’
If you would like to help develop opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, please contact Bonnie Allmond on +61 8 7421 9995 or via email email@example.com
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