Bursary launched in memory of Derry nurse Gabrielle Durkan

A bursary for nursing students in memory of Derry woman, who sadly passed away ten years ago, has been launched by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:17 am
Rita Devlin, Director, RCN Northern Ireland, Mary Durkan, Ellen Fearn, President NUS-USI, Isobel Durkan and Linzi McIlroy, Student Lead, RCN Northern Ireland.

The bursary, sponsored by Mary and Isobel Durkan, is in memory of their sister Gabrielle Durkan who was a nurse.

The Gabrielle Award is open for pre-registration nursing students studying at Ulster University, Queen’s University or the Open University (NI) and is open to all fields of nursing.

It will give nursing students the opportunity to fund exploration of an aspect of nursing or healthcare they are passionate about and would like to explore further.

It can also be used to fund travel, attendance at a conference, developing a shadowing experience or another option that supports their topic of choice.

Mary Durkan said she was ‘delighted that RCN Northern Ireland has launched a special one-off bursary scheme for student nurses in memory of our Gay.’

She said the bursary is a fitting tribute ‘to a life and legacy filled with passion, compassion and care’.

Ms Durkan added that it is also a ‘timely nod to the ongoing heroic work of our nurses in the most challenging of circumstances and an acknowledgement of pressure facing students’.

She said it was also a recognition of the important role of trade unions. Artwork by local artist Ethan Deery is being used on the application pack. The illustration is based on a photograph taken by Neil Thornton on Gabrielle’s last day of work in Altnagelvin.

Mary said the illustration captures her sister’s ‘spirit beautifully’.

Rita Devlin, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland said: “We are indebted to Mary and Isobel Durkan for supporting this important bursary for nursing students in memory of their sister Gabrielle. This is a fitting tribute to mark Gabrielle’s passion, compassion and care as a nurse and will go towards helping a nursing student to fulfil their potential.

“Nursing staff and nursing students continue to work through what is a very difficult time and gestures such as this to provide support for the nursing community are greatly valued.”

To apply for the Gabrielle Award applicants must submit a proposal explaining their project, what they hope to gain from it and how they believe it will enhance nursing knowledge and patient care.

The closing date for applications is December 31, 2021. Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel and the bursary (of up to £500) will be awarded in January 2022.

For further information and an application form, contact [email protected]