Heart Foundation Nursing Training Fellowship first of a kind

The Heart Foundation is proud to support leaders across all areas of medicine in Aotearoa, such as Waikato Hospital staff nurse Edel Schick, whose work will focus on patient education and heart disease prevention at a grass-roots level in the community.

Edel Schick

The new Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease grant, has been introduced to support nurses in the field of cardiology in Aotearoa. It is designed to support nurses, registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, to complete an approved clinical master’s degree programme for the nurse practitioner scope of practice in the field of cardiovascular disease.

"This grant has given me the opportunity to not only make a difference in my patients' health outcome and quality of life, but I also can make a difference by educating patients about prevention of heart disease, life-style modification, and how to live and control risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, advice and assistance with smoking cessation," says Edel.

The grant is part of $4.2 million dollars of funding announced by the Heart Foundation today for heart research and specialist training in New Zealand, bringing the total awarded by the charity since its formation in 1968, to more than $78 million dollars.  

This is the first fellowship available for nursing practitioners in the field of cardiovascular disease and the Heart Foundation Medical Director, Dr Gerry Devlin, says it’s exciting to offer this new training opportunity.

"Heart disease is New Zealand’s single biggest killer. With our ongoing commitment to supporting research, we can keep saving lives and improve the quality of life for the 170,000 New Zealanders living with heart disease."

"Made possible by the generosity of our supporters we are excited to provide the new nursing training fellowship and support Edel to provide first-class primary care to patients," says Dr Devlin.

Edel has been a nurse at the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory in the Waikato Hospital for the past 11 years, where she discovered her passion for cardiology, and she’s excited to be taking her research to new levels.

"Health research provides high value to the society, health care workers, and patients. providing us with important information about risk factors of disease and disease trends, how we can prevent the development or recurrence of disease and treat diseases successfully to increase survival rates. By doing research and providing evidence- based care to our patients, we can improve quality of life of patients, and consequently reducing hospital admissions and costs for the health care system," says Edel.

"I always wanted to be a nurse but I would have never thought that I would have the opportunity to do postgraduate studies, even studying towards Master in Nursing. After working for 12 years in New Zealand I am very proud and grateful for the opportunities to participate in health research and I am hoping that I can make a difference to my patients' health and quality of life." – Edel Schick.

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