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Go flying with midwifery scholarships

By Karen Keast | Last Updated: 20-11-2013

Royal Flying Doctor Service senior flight nurse Shane Miller

Interested in taking your nursing skills to new heights?

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has eight midwifery scholarships across Australia for registered nurses wanting to become flight nurses with the nation’s renowned aeromedical health service.

RFDS WA flight nurse coordinator Paul Ingram said it was vital flight nurses have midwifery qualifications as about 10 per cent of the organisation’s work is obstetric-related.

“These scholarships are important in attracting high quality nursing staff with a critical care background to flight nurse positions with the RFDS,” he said.

“Royal Flying Doctor Service flight nurses have to be highly skilled and capable of responding to a wide range of situations.

“On any given day they may have to respond

to many different injuries, illnesses and conditions.”

In Western Australia alone, RFDS has 50 flight nurses located across five bases at Jandakot, Kalgoorlie, Meekataharra, Derby and Port Hedland and each year awards two midwifery scholarships.

Shane Miller was the first person to take up a midwifery scholarship in WA.

Seven years ago, Shane was working as a clinical nurse specialist in a hospital emergency department when he inquired about becoming a flight nurse.

He spoke to the service’s director of nursing and realised he lacked the midwifery component needed to become a flight nurse.

But his timing couldn’t have been better – the director of nursing was investigating establishing the midwifery scholarships and encouraged him to apply.

Shane is now a senior flight nurse based at Kalgoorlie and loving his work.

The latest round of RFDS midwifery scholarships will provide financial assistance to support nurses gaining their midwifery qualifications in 2013/2014, helping to cover costs such as course fees and text books.

Applicants must be registered general nurses with AHPRA registration, have emergency nursing or critical care certificate or experience and relevant post graduate nursing experience.

Applications close November 19. Visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service for more information.

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