Nicole McGrady
Nicole McGrady

Nicole McGrady

Indigenous Health Scholarship

Deakin University, VIC

Bachelor of Nursing
Scholarship Awarded 2020

Sponsored by:
Rotary Club of Bright

Indigenous Health Scholarship Program

How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?

As a qualified Registered Nurse, I plan to contribute to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes in rural and remote communities by fostering knowledge and understanding on the importance of timely and appropriate health care. Over the past 4 years I have worked in community controlled Indigenous health organisations in NSW and Queensland and personally seen the positive impact culturally appropriate health care has on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and their communities. I have worked very closely with clinical staff in these services which has helped me recognise the important role clinical staff play in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to better access healthcare. This work has been my inspiration to undertake study in nursing and further develop my skills and knowledge to support my people in improvising their health outcomes not only as individuals, but for the benefit of their families.

I see my future role as a Registered Nurse working in these communities to help provide culturally safe and opportune preventative healthcare with a definite health education focus. Improving health literacy, the understanding of medical terminology and chronic conditions is a goal of mine and to reduce barriers experienced by Aboriginal people in accessing healthcare.

Working as a Registered Nursing in various healthcare settings will ensure I am able to foster a sense of identity and well-being of Aboriginal patients engaging in our local health services. As a proud Aboriginal woman working in my own community, I look forward to become a part of improving the health status of Aboriginal people not just in my own community but in any further clinical role I undertake.

I aim to improve Indigenous health by being employed in a mainstream position in a nursing role in the public health sector to help foster and embed cultural safety and respect within the healthcare sector and the wide community. This will give me the opportunity to work within any health system and ensure I am well placed to assist in delivering health care that meets the needs of Aboriginal people within our community.

Current Progressive Report

I have successfully completed trimester 1 of 2023, achieving a distinction for my efforts. During this trimester I was required to complete a 3-week clinical placement for the HNN329 Chronic Illness and supportive care unit. I had returned to a private hospital where I had previously completed placements, so this placement felt familiar and lessened my anxiousness about returning to a clinical setting after some time away from clinical units, particularly placement in an acute health setting. Studying a unit for chronic illness so was enjoyable for me, particularly being an Aboriginal woman who works in primary health care and understanding that many of the conditions I studied were some of the illnesses that continue to impact our people and contribute to higher mortality and disability rates for communities.  During this trimester I was able to gain so much knowledge that I hope I will be able to use after the completion of my studies.

Trimester 2 now sees me enrolled in my final unit of the Bachelor of Nursing degree. I am so excited and proud to see all my hard work pay off and come together to consolidate the learning, and clinical knowledge I’ve gained over the four years of my registered nursing journey. Being successful in trimester 1, 2023, achieving an excellent result, and refreshing my clinical nursing skills, has given me the confidence and motivation to study and work toward the final completion of my degree. I am currently in the process of undertaking documentation and submitting evidence to AHPRA in preparation for my graduate registration as a nurse.

I am continuing full-time employment working within a maternal and child health program within an Indigenous community-controlled health sector as a Team Leader. During my final year of studies, I was certain I did not want to work clinically as a registered nurse, but my experiences working within the sector and more, so the community has given me the motivation to work as an RN post-graduation to consolidate my skills and knowledge. This will help to decide if I would like to work clinically alongside my community and mob to be part of the frontline efforts of the ACCHO workforce to work toward closing the gap and improving health outcomes.

I continue to juggle work, study, and manage family life with both challenges and seeing successes and work toward a huge achievement over the next few months. I am scheduled to commence my final 5.5-week clinical placement at a local hospital in an acute setting and I remain determined to continue to work toward the completion of my degree to ensure I have the qualification to enhance my skills as I continue to work with the community to support the initiatives of better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to support the improvement of culturally safe healthcare practices in areas where I work.

I would like to take this opportunity to share my gratitude with all involved with the Rotary scholarships, your support and dedication to supporting Indigenous students has been very impactful on my nursing journey, and I want to thank you for your repeated and ongoing support. This scholarship has been such an amazing financial support for me being a single mother and working full-time during my studies. I want to share how filled with gratitude I am and how humbled I feel to receive your support.

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