History of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses’ Foundation, Inc. Scholarships

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in 1980, and in 1997 the Registered Psychiatric Nurses’ Foundation, Inc. made its first award.

Additional scholarships initiated since that time are:

The Kay Armstrong Scholarship (1998)

The Kay Armstrong Scholarship is named after one of the early promoters of baccalaureate education for Registered Psychiatric Nurses at Brandon University. Her leadership, commitment and energy provided initial impetus for the now available Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Program.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $500.00 may be awarded to a 4th year student pursuing studies in a baccalaureate or post-basic baccalaureate degree in Psychiatric Nursing in Manitoba.

The Alf Barnett Scholarship (1998)

The Alf Barnett Scholarship is named for the founding President of the first legislated body representing Psychiatric Nurses in Manitoba. He was committed to ensuring quality care for persons with a mental illness and also to the recognition of the skills required of the persons providing that care. He organized and lobbied towards the legislation that would recognize Registered Psychiatric Nurses as part of the health care system in Manitoba.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $1,000.00 may be awarded to a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Manitoba pursing Masters or Doctoral Studies.

The John Kellie Scholarship (1998)

The John Kellie Scholarship is named after the Director of the Psychiatric Nursing Education Program at the Manitoba Developmental Centre from 1969 – 1986. John was committed to quality in psychiatric nursing education and practice. He was involved in the development of the National Standards of Practice for Registered Psychiatric Nurses and in the development of Standards of Approval of Psychiatric Nursing Education Programs.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $500.00 may be awarded to a Psychiatric Nurse who is a third year student in a four-year baccalaureate degree in psychiatric nursing.

The Dr. Marlene Fitzsimmons Scholarship (2009)

The Dr. Marlene Fitzsimmons Scholarship is named for the Founder and long time Board Member, President and strong supporter of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses’ Foundation, Inc. Marlene is a leader in the field of Psychiatric Nursing practice working tirelessly throughout her career with staff, clients, families and community partners to evolve a range of community based services promoting Recovery. In 2009, she became the first Registered Psychiatric Nurse to receive an honourary Doctor of Science degree when Brandon University conferred her that honour.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $500.00 is awarded to a Manitoba Registered Psychiatric Nurse enrolled in a certificate program or who has presented at a conference.

The John Alex Crawford National Scholarship (2010)

The John Alex Crawford National Scholarship was initiated in honour of John Crawford who dedicated his career to the profession of Psychiatric Nursing. John was a Psychiatric Nursing educator, practitioner, administrator and researcher. In 1977 he chaired an inter-provincial group of Registered Psychiatric Nurses who developed the first National Standards for Psychiatric Nursing Practice, a first for any regulated nursing profession in Canada. These Standards, with revisions, have been used by the profession of Psychiatric Nursing in Canada from 1979 to 2009. At the time of his passing in 2004, he had achieved candidacy as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $1,000.00 supports Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Canada who wish to pursue Master’s or Doctoral Studies that are directly related to psychiatric nursing and associated with clinical practice, education, administration or research.

The Dr. Annette Thorimbert Osted National Scholarship (2010)

The Annette Thorimbert Osted National Scholarship is named for a visionary leader who was instrumental in the establishment of the first baccalaureate degree in Psychiatric Nursing in Canada in 1995. She held the position of Executive Director for the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba for 35 years, dedicating her career to the ongoing evolution of the profession of Psychiatric Nursing in the areas of education, practice and legislation. In 2012, Annette was honoured by the conferment of a Doctor of Laws degree by Brandon University.

This annual scholarship (of minimum) $500.00 is awarded annually to a Psychiatric Nursing student enrolled in the 3rd or 4th year of a baccalaureate degree in Psychiatric Nursing in Canada.

The McCormick-Henry National Scholarship (2015)

The McCormick-Henry National Scholarship is offered by the family of Psychiatric Nurse, Darlene Henry, whose career in psychogeriatrics, included the development of the first Psychogeriatric Assessment Unit in Manitoba, the evolution of community based Seniors Mental Health services and psychogeriatric day program, as well as initiation of Mental Health Resource Nurse positions in rural facilities. Darlene provided leadership to the Manitoba Network of Psychogeriatric Program Specialists, and was a contributor with the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health, and on the national steering committee for the development of the Seniors Mental Health Policy Lens Toolkit, and Service Providers Guide.

In 2015 Darlene and her family initiated the national McCormick /Henry Scholarship for Seniors Mental Health for graduate students. This annual scholarship (of minimum) $1,000.00 is awarded to a Registered Psychiatric Nurse registered in Canada, who is pursuing further studies in seniors’ mental health at a graduate level (Master’s or Doctoral) or through an accredited certificate program.

NOTE: While a number of the above scholarships were originally initiated as bursaries, a Board Motion on April 30, 2009 confirmed “that all awards are called scholarships, as scholarships are awarded based on academic criteria versus bursaries that are awarded based demonstrated on financial need”.

The exception to the above is the Brandon University, Registered Psychiatric Nurses’ Foundation Bursary. The RPNF established the Registered Psychiatric Nurses’ Foundation Inc. Bursary at Brandon University through a one-time donation of $5000 that was matched by the Manitoba Government. This Bursary is managed by Brandon University and is offered annually on the basis of financial need to a full time undergraduate student who has completed their 3rd Year and will be entering their 4th year of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BScPN) program at Brandon University.