Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship

The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship is a unique opportunity for nurses in Victoria, and plays an important role in The Royal Children's Hospital's vision to lead the way in paediatric health care.

Thanks to funds collected by the RCH Auxiliaries for the Good Friday Appeal, the $50,000 scholarship allows one outstanding nurse to develop skills and experience by exploring innovative practices and models of care across Australia and internationally. 

Dame Elisabeth generously gave her name in perpetuity in support of this scholarship and the advancement of nursing at the RCH.

The 2020 Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Bianca Devsam, the recipient of the 2020 Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship. Bianca is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Butterfly Ward, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Nursing Research Department. 

Bianca has worked in Butterfly Ward since 2014 and is passionate about helping acutely ill newborn or preterm babies and their families. During her time at the bedside with these critically ill babies Bianca identified the complexities in finding the right balance of pain relief.

“If babies are in a lot of pain they won’t recover from their surgery or medical condition very well. It is easy to give too much pain medication, but if they’re heavily sedated it has negative effects on their brain development and attachment with their families,” Bianca said.

With the support of the Dame Elisabeth Nursing Development Scholarship Bianca will consult locally and globally to learn how other hospitals manage neonatal pain.

Armed with these insights, Bianca plans to seek further advice from nurses, medical staff and families in the NICU to develop and implement a new pain management guideline.

Posted May 2020


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