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Dr Deborah Sundin

Director, Clinical

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 3488, Mobile: 0488966198, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO21.449
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 3488
Mobile: 0488966198
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO21.449  


Deb is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Current Teaching

  • NPP3101 Professional Nursing Practice 3
  • MHP6100 Master's Project Proposal
  • MHP6101 Master's Health Project
  • NUR6116 Evaluating practice in Health
  • CMC6100 Coaching and Mentoring in the Clinical Setting.


Dr Deborah Sundin has more than 30 years clinical nursing experience in metropolitan, rural and international venues. Her clinical and research passion lies in critical care. Deborah’s PhD work examined the clinical decision-making occurring at the termination of care in terms of those factors facilitating or constraining the process and impacting upon the outcome and the experience for the decision-makers (families and clinicians). This project included the development of a new critical post-structural methodology. She has since completed two funded projects in this area.

Dr Sundin has supervised six research and higher degree students to successful completion. She has recently won a Western Australian DOH grant worth $89,000 for the development of Simulation education materials to be used in teaching health professionals how to ‘break bad news’. She has since lead the $230,000 update of simulation facilities within the $2,000,000 refurbishment of the Nursing and Midwifery demonstration wards.

  • February 2011-present: Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Edith Cowan University
  • June 2002-January 2011: Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle. Year and Course Coordinator in undergraduate curriculum; Honours program convenor since June 2007.
  • January-December 2006: Research Academic, Older Person Care, University of Newcastle.
  • January 2000-June 2002: USQ Honours and then PhD Research Scholarship + fractional contract, University of Southern Queensland
  • January 1995-January 2000: Academic – Lecturer (Level A), University of Southern Queensland
  • January 1995-May 2002: Registered Nurse/Midwife, Toowoomba Base Hospital. Predominantly working in critical care (part-time).
  • March-December 1994: Developer of / Lecturer in postgraduate Diploma of Critical Care, Griffith University / Toowoomba Base Hospital
  • September 1993-March 1994: Coronary Care / Intensive Care / Casual / on-call, Toowoomba Base Hospital
  • November 1991-August 1993: Clinical Nurse (Level 2) Coronary Care Unit, Toowoomba Base Hospital
  • January 1991-July 1991: Post-registration Critical Care Certificate, Royal Brisbane Hospital
  • March 1979-January 1991: Travelled extensively and worked in rural and metropolitan centres in Queensland and the U.K.

Professional Associations

  • Australian Nursing Federation
  • ACCCN/ANZICS (Australian College of Critical Care Nurses/ Australian&New Zealand Intensive care Society)

Research Areas and Interests

  • Clinical decision-making (more specifically end-of-life decision-making in critical care)
  • The development of best-practice clinical decision-making applied to practice
  • Simulation and IPL in the education of health care professionals.

Deborah’s research passion is clinical decision-making. Her PhD examined end-of-life decision-making in critical-care, producing models of the decision-making process, and practical recommendations to improve this process to reduce suffering for those involved.Deborah now supervises research and higher degree students with projects related to the issue of clinical decision-making and its impact on health care.

  • Description of the lived experience of people who experienced a critical illness in intensive care and the meaning they attach to their experience
  • Investigation of the efficacy of the current education for registered nurses managing mechanically ventilated patients
  • Patient related violence against emergency department nurses
  • The use of visual diarising as therapy for survivors of intensive care.
  • Exploring the experiences of parents of preterm infants in Ghana after discharge from the NICU
  • Investigating the ethical perspectives of nurses and physicians and the collaborative processes in decision-making regarding the application of aggressive treatments and the WLST from patients nearing the EoL in ICU.
  • Exploring the new graduate registered nurses awareness of patient safety in the context of their clinical practice skills as advanced beginners.
  • “How does the experience of nursing a significant other in the role of employment impact West Australian nurses?”
  • The impact of the supernumerary staff development nurse on patient outcomes specifically related to graduate nurses


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southern Queensland, 2006.
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Hons), University of Southern Queensland, 1997.


Recent Research Grants

  • Development of Simulation Resources,  Department of Health WA,  Simulated Learning Environments Research Grants 2016,  2016,  $86,039.
  • An Exploration of Factors Influencing Medical Decision-Making for Seriously Ill Patients in the Acute Care Hospital,  University of Western Australia,  Grant - CaPCREU 2012,  2012 - 2015,  $22,724.
  • A retrospective investigation of Factors Influencing Medical Decision-Making for Seriously Ill Patients in the Acute Care Hospital,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2014,  2014,  $18,168.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J., Sundin, D., (2018), Surviving ICU: Stories of recovery. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2(Feb), 1-10, UK, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/jan.13556.
  • Morris, S., Geraghty, S., Sundin, D., (2018), Moxibustion: An alternative option for breech presentation. British Journal of Midwifery, 26(7), 440-445, London, UK, Mark Allen Healthcare.
  • Adama, E., Sundin, D., Bayes, S., (2017), Ghanaian fathers' experiences of caring for preterm infants; a journey of exclusion. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 23(6), 275-281, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jnn.2017.05.003.
  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J., Sundin, D., (2017), Never ending stories: visual diarizing to recreate autobiographical memory of intensive care unit survivors. Nursing in Critical Care, 22(1), 8-18, UK, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1111/nicc.12093.
  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J., Sundin, D., (2017), Implications for research and practice of the biographic approach for storytelling. Nurse Researcher, 24(3), 19-24, Harrow, United Kingdom, RCNi, DOI: 10.7748/nr.2017.e1396.
  • Cope, V., Sundin, D., Smyth, A., Wang, C., Baum, G., Ewens, B., Foxall, F., (2016), The hidden benefits of writing retreats: Academic development and social interaction for nurses. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 6(11), 73-79, Toronto, Canada, Sciedu Press, DOI: 10.5430/jnep.v6n11p73.
  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J., Sundin, D., (2015), The use, prevalence and potential benefits of a diary as a therapeutic intervention/tool to aid recovery following critical illness in intensive care: a literature review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(9-10), 1406-1425, United Kingdom, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1111/jocn.12736.
  • Adama, E., Bayes, S., Sundin, D., (2015), Parent's experiences of caring for preterm infants after discharge from neonatal intensive care unit: A meta-synthesis of the literature. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 22(1), 27-51, London, UK, Elsevier Ltd, DOI: 10.1016/j.jnn.2015.07.006.
  • Guilhermino, M., Inder, K., Sundin, D., Kuzmiuk, L., (2014), Nurses' perceptions of education on invasive mechanical ventilation. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(5), 225-232, Slack Incorporated, DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20140417-01.
  • Guilhermino, M., Inder, K., Sundin, D., Kuzmiuk, L., (2014), Education of ICU nurses regarding invasive mechanical ventilation: Findings from a cross-sectional survey. Australian Critical Care, 27(3), 126-132, Elsevier Ireland Ltd, DOI: 10.1016/j.aucc.2013.10.064.
  • Jefford, E., Sundin, D., (2013), Post-structural feminist interpretive interactionism. Nurse Researcher, 21(1), 14-22, United Kingdom, R C N Publishing Co., DOI: 10.7748/nr2013.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Master of Nursing,  The Impact Of Nursing A Significant Other In The Course Of Employment
  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Ghanaian Parents' Experiences Of Caring For Their Preterm Infants After Discharge From The Neonatal Unit-a Narrative Inquiry Study

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Enhancing Women's Changing Embodied Self During First Childbearing

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Living After Confronting Death; Story Telling During The Recovery Trajectory Of Intensive Care Unit Survivors: An Interpretive Biographical Approach
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