PONTEFRACT nurse Sarah Lawley is in the running to win a top award which could help her pay for her work experience plans in Australia.
The 42-year-old nursing student – who plans to do work experience down under as part of her university course – made the shortlist for the outstanding student nurse category in the recently launched Cavell Nurses’ Trust Scholarship Awards.
If she wins the prestigious award – to be presented at a ceremony in London this month – she will get up to £2,000 to help pay for her work placement in Cairns.
Mrs Lawley, who switched career after 21 years in banking, said: “My sister and her family have been living in Cairns for many years and helped me to make contacts with health visitors and children’s nurses whose work takes them over vast tracts of territory to visit communities that include settlements of Aborigines.
“I couldn’t be going further for a taste of work experience but I really like the climate, and the main reason I want to go is because in the future I might be interested in doing research and I want to be able to compare the health promotion systems in Australia and the UK.
“They have a lot of really good practices down under that we could learn from.
“My goal is to become a health visitor, helping families and children deal with a wide range of health and social issues.”
Mrs Lawley, of Highfield Road, enrolled for a BSc degree in child nursing at the University of Huddersfield, and graduates at the end of this academic year.
She added: “I just felt that I wanted to do something different that involved caring for children and families. I just wanted to make a difference to peoples’ lives.
“It has been a really refreshing change to move into nursing and I am keen to continue my studies.”