skip to main content

First nursing scholarship students qualify

16 December 2021


Our first two nursing scholarship students have been congratulated after completing their studies, formally qualifying, and joining our ward teams as staff nurses. 

Gabrielle Massey and Rhiannon Forder were selected as the first two students to receive our Paget Nursing Scholarship and now, after three years of study, both are fully qualified nurses, with Gabrielle currently working on Ward 17, our Haematology ward, and Rhiannon busy on Ward 6, our Orthopaedic trauma ward. 

Recently both were formally visited and congratulated by our Corporate Lead Nurse Tracie Bitters and our Acting Head of Education Claire Ward.

Scholarship Student Gabrielle Massey (right) with Claire Ward (left) and Tracie Bitters (centre). Claire and  Tracie both wear dark colour uniforms as they are senior nurses, while Gabrielle wears a pale blue tunic. They stand in a ward corridor area.

Gabrielle (right) with Claire Ward (left) and Tracie Bitters (centre). 


James Paget University Hospital’s scholarship scheme was launched in January 2018 with the aim of providing funding opportunities to encourage and support local people to join the nursing profession. The scholarship was initially set up by the James Paget and the University of East Anglia and aimed at people from the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area who harboured an ambition to become a nurse at their local hospital but may have been put off from going onto the three-year course because of tuition fees. 

The initiative was just one of those put in place to help develop routes into nursing for local people, and more recently the scholarship scheme has expanded to include other health care professions – including midwives and Operating Department Practitioners (ODP). 

Gabrielle and Rhiannon were the first two selected to receive the scholarship after an application and interview process, and now they are looking forward to their careers. 

Gabrielle says; “I was born in the hospital and I’m loving working here. I’ve wanted to work in Oncology after seeing the care given to my grandad and I did work experience in the Sandra Chapman Centre and the team encouraged me, saying there would be a job for me if I got my nursing degree. 

“Now I’m qualified, that dream is set to become reality in spring next year when I will join the team in the Centre. In the meantime I’m getting great experience here in Ward 17.  One of my last placements while I was training was in the ward so I know the team and love being part of it. 

“The scholarship meant I got lots of support, with monthly meetings, and everyone helping me, and the money really helped too.”

Scholarship Student Rhiannon Forder (centre) with Tracie Bitters (left) and Claire Ward (right). The three stand outside the entrance to Ward 6 and Ward 7 - with Claire and Tracie in short-sleeve dark colour uniforms and Rhiannon in pale blue with a mid-blue belt.

Rhiannon (centre) with Tracie Bitters (left) and Claire Ward (right).


Rhiannon said she would recommend the scholarship to anyone who wanted to work locally as a nurse. 

“Mum is a community nurse and I previously worked as a Health Care Assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before deciding I wanted to be a nurse too. 

“All my placements were at the James Paget, apart from one community placement, and I got to work in both surgical and medical areas. 

“The scholarship meant we had regular meetings with the clinical education team and there was always a chance to talk to someone directly to get advice and assistance. 

“Through the placements I decided I liked surgical nursing and was placed in Ward 6, which I’m enjoying as I like being busy.” 

The James Paget scholarship provides £3,000 per year over three years, paid in monthly instalments, to support individuals while they study.