Nursing Leader Wins $60,000 MBA Scholarship

A prestigious $60,000 Future Leaders MBA Scholarship has paved the way for a Canadian nurse to learn how business can bolster her position in the medical sector.

Canadian Nicole Thibodeau arrived in Australia as a tourist in 2011, with little more in her pockets than what she managed to earn through nursing agencies in Sydney and Brisbane. Today, she is Head of Nursing Services with Primary Health Care Ltd, one of Australia’s leading private healthcare providers.

Ms Thibodeau, however, is set to become Chief Nursing Officer at Primary Health Care in 2019 and at the same time be enrolled in the University of Sydney Business School’s MBA program, funded by a prestigious $60,000 Future Leaders MBA Scholarship.

The scholarship is offered to Sydney Business School students studying a part time MBA and was established to inspire and nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

Ms Thibodeau became eligible not only through her part time course load but through the career path she is currently navigating. Her role requires her to oversee the work of around 400 nurses undertaking an average of a million nursing consults a year across 72 medical centres.

“When reflecting on my journey, I realise that my personal drive to succeed has always translated into a drive to facilitate the success of my teams,” Ms Thibodeau said.

“I need to strengthen the learning half of my leadership skill set.

“It is my aim in studying business to deepen my understanding of crucial elements such financial management, marketing, and business negotiations.”

“This will equip me with the knowledge to make the best decisions for my team, articulate these decisions effectively to gain support, and build further confidence to advocate for the nursing profession and our patients,” she said.

Ultimately, Ms Thibodeau said she wanted to make a real impact on the health of Australians.

“Requiring particular attention is the critical shortage of General Practice (GP) Nurses,” she said.

“This is doubly concerning considering our current ageing workforce and increasing patient workload.

“We need to make our field more appealing to nurses, as the future of General Practice depends on it. With exploration of new healthcare funding models upon us, our profession will be called upon to take on greater responsibility and we need to be prepared for that.”

Ms Thibodeau was selected from an initial pool of scholarship applications, who participated in a three-hour masterclass. That group was further whittled down to five.

The University of Sydney Business School has awarded the other four finalists – David Brain, Felicity Bridger, Luke Byrnes and Katie Parker – with partial MBA scholarships.​

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (