Read about the experiences of previous education grant beneficiaries and get hints and tips on how to write a successful application.
Crystal is an ICU Nurse working at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. She was a nursing associate when she applied for funding and was awarded an RCN Foundation Leathersellers Education Grant totalling £2,500. She used this towards a degree in Adult Nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Crystal describes what nursing means to her:
As a nursing associate, the degree course was exactly what Crystal needed to challenge herself professionally and to progress onto becoming a band 5 nurse. Crystal said: “I was brought here on earth to be a nurse. Coming all the way from Jamaica and being the first in my family to go to university, I couldn’t be prouder and will always wear it as a badge of honour. And here I am now as a registered nurse, and it feels almost like an out of body experience – I almost can’t believe it but I absolutely love it.” Hear more about Crystal and the impact of the grant here.
Jessica is a Midwife working at Kings College Hospital in London. Jessica was awarded an RCN Foundation Deliveroo Education Grant of £205 to fund her continuous professional development and help her gain new skills in perineal repair and practise these skills in a clinical setting. She describes the importance of the grant and how this has increased her confidence:
Jessica is committed to improving outcomes for women and sharing learning with fellow newly qualified midwives. Jessica said: “Doing the course and learning these very practical hands-on skills was so valuable in giving me confidence going forward and feeling technically competent. Continual professional development is essential in a role like this. You are always learning, there are always new situations coming up, so going on a course like this is vital”. Hear more about Jessica and the impact of the grant here.
Fartun is a Mental Health Nurse working at East London NHS Foundation Trust and was awarded an RCN Foundation Into Nursing grant of £2,500 to support her studies for an MSc in Mental Health Nursing at City University, London. This enabled Fartun to complete her studies and become a newly qualified nurse focusing on helping those with mental ill health. Fartun describes how the grant helped her with her studies and the reason she chose to go into mental health nursing:
Fartun said: “I have always been interested in human behaviour and mental health in particular. Thanks to my studies, and the support from the RCN Foundation, I have been able to build my knowledge base and develop as a person. I now feel more confident in making decisions. When I see a patient progress in their recovery journey, that’s the best part of my job.” Hear more about Fartun and the impact of the grant here.
Mark is PhD Researcher at Ulster University and was awarded the RCN Foundation Marcia Mackie Education Grant, totalling £300, to assist his PhD and research into the development of a supportive intervention for people living with, and beyond, head and neck cancer.
Mark used the funding to develop a resource targeting the social aspect of eating for this group. The long-term impact of Mark’s work is the post-treatment improvement of patient quality of life when eating and drinking with others. Mark’s resource has received excellent feedback from patients and colleagues as it reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“Having this grant was exceptionally important to be able to be able to access a graphic designer to make the resource appear presentable to patients. This has been really important to me to ensure that patients are receiving quality information that I would not have been able to produce."
Katie Slater, RCN Foundation Grants Manager, shares her tips on how to write a successful application:
Those that focus on patients and the impact the activity will have on patient care. In addition, we look at how individuals will disseminate what they’ve learnt from their activity with colleagues and the wider nursing team, whether this is through publication or a presentation at conferences.
We want a well-rounded application putting patients at the centre. We want to see that the activity has been well thought-out in terms of challenges the applicant may face in undertaking it. It’s important individuals think about how they will evaluate the effectiveness of their activity.
Applicants often leave their submissions until the last minute and subsequently miss the deadline. Some applicants copy and paste from other funding applications they may have made, and so do not focus on the specific questions.
Ensure you allow plenty of time to complete the application – really read the questions, and think about your answers. Ensure that you talk about how your activity will improve patient care.
Watch our education grants advice webinar
In this 20-minute webinar, two members of the RCN Foundation grants team explain what can make an education grant application successful.
Katie Slater, Grants Manager and Dr Sarah McGloin, Head of Grants and Impact, share their insight on what works and what doesn't. Recorded October 2021.