Research fund must be nurtured for future generations.
Subject: Research grants (Forecasts and trends)
Pub Date: 10/01/2009
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Oct, 2009 Source Volume: 15 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 010 Forecasts, trends, outlooks; 360 Services information Computer Subject: Market trend/market analysis
Organization: Organization: New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 210919900
Full Text: The establishment of the Nursing Education and Research Foundation (NERF) was one of NZNA's finest achievements, a former NZNA president Marie Burgess told the centennial conference. "It was a very significant achievement and one which we don't stop to think about. There is now $2.5 million invested; this year $90,000 was distributed to NZNO members in scholarships and grants and next year that figure will top $100,000," she said.

Burgess, who was also Nursing Council registrar, outlined the genesis of the NERF from the sudden death in January 1966 of Flora Jean Cameron, "a very dynamic personality" In 1952, Cameron was appointed director of nursing in the Department of Health, a position she held until her retirement in 1962. As director, she was also the registrar of the Nurses' and Midwives' Board. Burgess said she had been a very strong advocate for improving nursing education and a speaker at her funeral said "she made a contribution to nursing that will leave its mark on nursing in this country."

As a way of marking that contribution nurses "doing the washing up after her funeral" talked of establishing a memorial scholarship. A memorial scholarship committee was established in early 1966, a time when NZNA had a declining membership of just 6000. By May, 411 [pounds sterling] had been collected and the next month, a resolution to establish NERF, with the first award to be known as the Flora Jean Cameron Memorial Scholarship, was passed unanimously. The NERF trust deed was registered in December 1968 and then began "an extraordinary three-phase funding raising campaign", Burgess said.

The first phase raised 35,000 [pounds sterling] from the profession, with 100,000 [pounds sterling] hoped for, the second phase was aimed at the medical profession and medical supply companies; and the final phase was a public appeal. Association fundraising efforts included the collection of used batteries sold for scrap, which raised 33 [pounds sterling], and association president at the time, Ena Hollis, visited 33 head offices of national firms soliciting funds.

There was another fund raising campaign in the early '80s and in 1988 a significant bequest of $185,000 boosted NERF's coffers. Burgess also referred to the $1 million bequest from Dorothy Ranger in 1996.

The first winners of the Flora Cameron Memorial Scholarship were Janet Gardiner (1968) and Judith Christensen the following year. The Mary Lambie Scholarship, to honour the director of nursing in the '30s and '40s, was established in 1971. In 1980, NERF awarded its first research grants and in the '80s instituted travelling scholars, including nurse academics from overseas.


Burgess also outlined NERF's oral history project, the brain child of former NZNA president Margaret Bazley. The project, which ran from 1982-84, saw 185 nurses interviewed: 13 registered before 1920, 5g registered between 1920-29; 70 registered between 1930-39; 36 registered between 1940-49; and three registered after 1950.

Burgess urged nurses to continue to support NERF. "If we don't nurture and grow NERF, it won't be there in any signfiicant way for future generations."

Conference coverage by co-editors Teresa O'Connor and Anne Manchester
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