Home Campus News Loyalist Nursing Student Wins Kay Stafford Memorial Bursary

Loyalist Nursing Student Wins Kay Stafford Memorial Bursary

July 25, 2014

By Loyalist College Business graduate and PR post-graduate Public Relations student Mariah Brough

On June 11, Trenton Memorial Hospital hosted its annual general meeting, highlighting the year’s events and new additions to the hospital. Each year during the meeting, the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation awards educational bursaries to individuals whose goal is to assist in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health care services in the future.

The Kay Stafford Fund provides various bursaries to high school and college students as well as community projects. This year’s recipient of the Kay Stafford Memorial Bursary was Loyalist College student Sarah Ryckman. Sarah is entering her second year of the Practical Nursing program this September. Recommendations from faculty at the College and members of her community church convey Sarah’s enjoyment of volunteer work and her commitment to the community. Sarah is greatly involved with her church, working with children’s camps, community breakfasts and outreach programs.  

Patricia Munroe and Erin Baldwin, professors in the Loyalist Practical Nursing program, accompanied Sarah to the meeting and celebrated her success. Before Sarah began studying at Loyalist she was a self-employed day care provider and a stay-at-home mom. Once she graduates, Sarah plans to work as a practical nurse, possibly in labour and delivery or mental health. 

“In one year I have already learned so much at Loyalist,” says Sarah. “I have wanted to be a nurse since I was twelve years old. Loyalist was the best choice for me, and is known for its Nursing programs. I’ve already gained so many essential skills. The professors are great and really want the students to succeed.

“I heard about the bursary through Loyalist and decided to apply,” she adds. “I was really surprised when I was chosen and so excited about the award. I am so thankful to my husband and kids, and really appreciate the help from my teachers at Loyalist. Without them, I don’t know where I would be.”

Kay Stafford was a retired postal worker who donated over $1.2 million to the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation. Her wish was that her estate would help improve the overall health and well-being of the community. Kay passed away in 1996, but her contributions to the Foundation live on. In honour of Kay’s wishes, the Foundation continues to award bursaries each year.  The fund has also provided health and safety training, ambulances, defibrillators, CPR courses, first aid kits, stretchers and much more.  Kay’s donation has positively impacted health care in the Quinte West region, and will continue to do so for years to come.

The Practical Nursing program at Loyalist is a two-year diploma completed in five semesters. Students learn to assess clients’ health throughout the lifespan, and to plan, implement and evaluate appropriate nursing care. Hands-on learning combines theory, lab work and clinical practice, including interactive scenarios in Loyalist’s Human Simulation Lab. Students also conduct a community blood pressure clinic at the College. For more information on the Practical Nursing program, which recently received Category 1 five-year program approval, the highest attainable rating from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), call 613-969-1913 ext. 2100 or visit