Qolcom sponsor nurses at UK University of the Year

Hats off to our friends at Northumbria University, crowned University of the Year at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards.

Here we talk to Jess Mead, one of the nurses who we are proud to support with a scholarship grant this year.

As a company at the forefront of digital transformation in the education and healthcare sectors, Qolcom is keen to support the development of the next generation of UK talent. In Northumbria University we found a like-minded partner that is focused on tackling the challenges of tomorrow.

As part of the Qolcom Scholarships, we award two gifted Northumbria nursing students with £2,000 each to help finance their first year of study. By making a difference to the lives of students like Jess we want to champion forward-thinking educators and inspire innovation in healthcare.

A 28-year-old nursing student from Wallsend, Jess works part-time in a residential care home as a care assistant. Read on to learn how being awarded the Qolcom Nursing Scholarship has changed her life.

Have you always wanted to pursue nursing? What inspired you to pursue this field?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a paramedic. I volunteered at the British Red Cross, attending big events to help out with first aid. Once I gained experience in the care home and observed other nurses while on shift, I changed my mind and applied for adult nursing. That said, I am still trying to figure out where I want to be based as a nurse. My 4-year-old daughter also inspired me to apply for adult nursing. I want to show her that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, no matter what stage in life you are in.

What are your career goals?

I hope that by the time I get my degree, I'll have gained experience in all different settings to help me decide. After I qualify, I would love to become a specialist nurse. I am still deciding on the area.

What prompted you to apply for the Qolcom Scholarship? Also, can you tell us how you learned about being awarded the scholarship and how you felt about it?

It was Northumbria University that prompted me to apply for the scholarship. I was informed by email that it was awarded to me. I found it difficult to believe at first, but after realising it was for real, I was delighted and very thankful.

My partner and all my family were very proud. I have never been awarded anything like this in my life. Winning this scholarship helped me gain confidence in myself, especially when I was in doubt.

How has the Qolcom Scholarship impacted your education?

Qolcom Scholarship has helped me massively. I bought a new laptop, which helped me with my studies and bought books I needed for my degree. It also helped me pay for driving lessons and a car theory test that I passed the first time. Having my driving license will take a huge weight off my shoulders. At the minute, I am struggling to get to the placement and get childcare with me using public transport.

What are your thoughts on the importance of providing financial assistance to nursing students? Should there be more initiatives like that of Qolcom?

Providing scholarships like Qolcom to nursing students is very important. It allows students to focus on their education instead of worrying about their finances. Nursing students are very busy completing work and doing full-time hours on unpaid placement. Scholarships help students to work less and make more time to study. Offering scholarships like this will encourage other students to apply for nursing degrees and help the NHS job crisis in the future.

Would you suggest applying for the Qolcom Scholarships to others?

I highly recommend other students to apply for the Qolcom Scholarship in future. It has given me many opportunities I couldn’t get before. It has helped me focus more on education, allowing me to achieve the best grades possible.

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