The Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund has launched annual scholarships of up to $10,000 for the centre's nursing staff to keep them up to date with research and best practise.
The inaugural recipients are Tamara Quigley and Nicole Webb, who will undertake a Master of Nursing Practice and a Master of Cancer Science respectively.
Ms Quigley will receive $20,000 over two years, and $18,000 will be given to Ms Webb, who will study online with Melbourne University.
"As I'm a cancer care co-ordinator (at the cancer centre), I'm involved in psychosocial care, so some of the subjects are foundations of cancer and research," Ms Webb said.
"Having a diagnosis of cancer can be a stressful and difficult time, so I’m hoping to really develop my skills and make sure our patients are cared for in a very holistic way."
Ms Webb also works part time within the Border Medical Oncology research unit, and said without the scholarship she may not have been able to undertake the degree.
"It's a $24,000 course and I’m really grateful to the trust fund for the money they have given towards it," she said.
AWRCC operations director Robyn Gillis said for nursing staff wanting to complete post-graduate degrees in oncology, the initiative could provide crucial support.
"Part of our thinking when we put the proposal forward to the trust … was to give an opportunity for local staff to go and get expert training at the best universities and bring that back to our community," she said.
"There’s new drugs, new technology and new procedures, and it’s really important our staff are up to date with the latest."
Trust Fund board member John Watson said the scholarships would be annual with another two recipients to be announced next year.
"This is offering opportunities (for nursing staff) to gain more knowledge and further their careers," he said.
"We have this fantastic centre and we must thank the community, because the money they donate to the trust fund stays here."
Another two nurses within the 250-strong workforce at the cancer centre will benefit from a separate scholarship program supported by the Albury-Wodonga Prostate Cancer Support Group.
They have been awarded $3000 each to go towards further study specific to caring for patients with prostate cancer.