Nursing & Midwifery
School of Nursing and Midwifery’s new Doctor of Health Science course
Commencing in 2013, ECU's Doctor of Health Science (Clinical Leadership and Management) course connects directly with industry through a "reciprocal engagement strategy" which ensures all course content is designed to address specific, relevant clinical leadership and management issues.
The course is designed to advance students' knowledge of leadership theories, concepts and techniques to produce positive and innovative organisational outcomes, meet organisational goals and objectives, and support research and collative experiences in line with national health reforms.
Remote learning that enhances the postgraduate student community
It's been well-documented that postgraduate Nursing students studying online units enjoy regular interaction with lecturers and fellow students, experiential learning, and use of technology for their online study.
With this feedback in mind, the School of Nursing and Midwifery is set to launch a virtual learning platform within two online Nursing units, one of which is postgraduate, whereby students can actively participate in "real-time" structured tutorials with peers and teachers all from the comfort of their living room.
The initiative aims to enhance the engagement of students in the student community; where issues pertinent to the unit can be discussed, analysed and critiqued in a supportive and safe environment, as well as reducing the feeling of student isolation, which may affect course attrition numbers.
Research investigates emotional wellbeing of staff
In 2012, Ms Susan Slatyer, Research Fellow within the Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at ECU, launched a research project in collaboration with clinical nurses in the palliative care team at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
The project focused on the Lotus Room which was introduced on the acute oncology ward for the care of patients in the last 48 hours of life. Large enough to accommodate the patient and family members, this room was furnished to allow relatives' comfortable attendance at all times of the day and night.
Researchers determined the characteristics of patients and families who used this dedicated space and investigated how caring for seriously ill people in the room affected the emotional well-being of multidisciplinary hospital staff.
The findings will be used to further develop the Lotus Room to increase the support offered to patients and families. The results of this project will also inform the development of strategies to support staff who care for dying people in other clinical areas of the hospital.
"Postgraduate education is an essential component of maintaining the credibility of nursing as a profession."
"In terms of career progression, postgraduate study has become a prerequisite for appointment to senior positions. However, with a full-time job, husband and three children, I needed a course that would fit in to both home and work, as work/life balance is a priority to me. The ability to complete the course off-campus was therefore of great value. Whilst the idea of online learning can be quite daunting the actual experience was enriching and the support, encouragement and words of wisdom from the module tutors and my research supervisors was excellent."
Master of Nursing graduate
ECU Nursing: Offering Graduates Amazing Employment Opportunities
Twenty new graduate Registered Nurses who completed their undergraduate nursing degrees at ECU have successfully gained positions in the graduate program at Joondalup Health Campus. Eleven of these students have elected to continue their relationship with ECU by enrolling in the postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Transition Nursing whilst participating in their hospital based graduate course. Similar links exist between ECU and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for new graduates.
These healthcare facilities also have strong links with ECU in their postgraduate specialty courses, including cardiac, renal, ICU, paediatrics and oncology nursing. The bipartisan agreements between these facilities and ECU ensure postgraduate students have the best of both the academic and clinical support staff to assist them in their studies.
Research Aiming to Improve the Profession
Improved nurse staffing levels were associated with a 25 per cent decrease in the rate of patient deaths, according to a study conducted by ECU's Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Professor Di Twigg. The research entitled, "The impact of nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD) staffing method on patient outcomes: A retrospective analysis of patient and staffing data", was conducted over a four‑year period starting in 2002 when a new staffing method (NHPPD) was first implemented.
This research is one of the first studies to examine this specific nurse staffing policy. Nurses play a vital role in terms of enabling the early detection and prompt intervention when patients' conditions deteriorate. The ability of nurses to initiate actions that minimise adverse events and negative outcomes for patients is directly linked to the hours of care provided. Professor Twigg says the research argues that the number of nurses is important to patient safety and strategies must be developed to ensure an adequate nursing workforce. This must be recognised as a shared responsibility between policy makers and the nursing profession. The findings of this study are supported by similar findings internationally and both extends knowledge and improves the quality of life for Australians and people around the world.