Staff and students benefit from Greta Cummings’ visit to Adelaide

Highly acclaimed Professor Greta Cummings, presented to School of Nursing  staff and research students on Tuesday 15 April as part of her visit to the University of Adelaide. Her presentation titled, Enhancing Coaching and Leadership Competencies to Promote Knowledge Translation in Long-term Care, enabled Greta to share her experiences including coaching practices, leadership intervention and impact of sustainability of this intervention. During the presentation it was highlighted the impact a manager’s willingness in the success of these outcomes were certainly highlighted. The research project consisted of two workshops attended by the managersand post-workshop results indicated that that coaching conversations generated greater feedback and increased staff job satisfaction. As Greta reminded us, the only constant in life is change!

Don’t miss her public lecture, Managing disparities in cancer care: what can we learn from international initiatives?

Greta visit to Adelaide is funded by the Northern Communities Health Foundation.

Professor Alison Kitson (left) pictured with Professor Greta Cummings

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From the Dean of Nursing

Wow, what an amazing start to the New Year. A big happy 2014 welcome to all our friends, nursing family and to all our students, all 964 of you (our biggest intake)! We trust your year so far is off to an exciting and busy start.  A special welcome to our new students, it was great to see your happy faces during O’Week. This is such an exciting time to be a part of our community! I was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome the first year Medical students and was equally pleased to have the Dean of Medicine welcome our first year nursing students.

Nursing Orientation BBQ during O’Week

Our new Bachelor of Nursing program is now in full swing and it’s wonderful to watch such a strong reputable program go from strength to strength. In the words of Frank Donnelly, the Program Coordinator, ‘The start of 2014 has seen the new program introduce a range of innovative and dynamic courses, including some delivered by flexible delivery. The new curriculum design will bring great benefit to students and staff alike. The program retains the key features of being clinically focussed and academically rigorous while responding to the wider university goals within the Beacon of Enlightenment.’

On Monday 17 February, at the opening of the new University of Adelaide facility in the Lyell McEwin Hospital it was great to be able to share our vision for the facility along with Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby, and Dean of Medicine, Professor Alastair Burt.

Development continues on the new $125 million Adelaide Clinical School. The building which will host the Medical and Nursing School in the West End is expected to commence construction in April on the North Terrace site in the city’s West End. The new Adelaide Clinical School will reflect infrastructure development and meet the changing needs of health education. A few key facts:

  • Around 1500 students and 300 staff will use the building which will open in 2016
  • The building layout will promote small-group learning, particularly at undergraduate level, with integrated research and shared teaching areas to encourage seamless collaboration between students from the different schools
  • The ground floor will also feature a welcoming general public space, with views to the River Torrens and Adelaide Oval.

For more information. Stay informed

Since our last edition, we have welcomed a few new members to the team including:

  • Susan Gravier, Research Assistant and HWA Administrator providing assistance to the Clinical Placement Team
  • Dr Janet Kelly, Research Assistant
  • Dr Jane Nugent, Pharmacology Lecturer
  • Gabbie Salmon, Reception
  • Brooke Blackburn, Administrative Officer supporting the undergraduate and pre-registration programs
  • Sheridan Clark, Executive Officer.

We have also said farewell to the following staff and want to thank them for all their outstanding contributions and wish them all the very best for the next part of their journey; Morgan Glazbrook, Jana Drummond and Fiona Wilkins.

We were delighted to welcome another wonderful group of Austrian students, Nicole Gross, Michaela Kaindl, Katharina Kletzmayr, Anna Lohnecker and Karin Schersch to the School of Nursing during February. The students are currently completing their final year of study before starting their careers as registered nurses. Read more. We have also welcomed another group of Singapore nursing students from 24 March to 11 April and we look forward to sharing more about their visit in the next issue.

Early April, we say a sad ‘see you soon’ to Mette who has been working with the School of Nursing during the last three months. Mette has been assisting Professor Charlotte deCrespigny with the CAN project, working on the ASSIST project with Dr Lynette Cusack and developing research collaborations between Adelaide and Sweden. Staff were treated to a presentation by Mette on Tuesday 25 March sharing her experiences, findings and developments. Although Mette is on her way home, we look forward to welcoming her back in the future. And Mette will welcome Professor Charlotte deCrespigny and Dr Rick Wiechula will visit Aalborg, Denmark, in September. We eagerly anticipate welcoming Siri Voldbjerg, a Danish PhD student, being co-supervised by Dr Rick Wiechula from November 2014 to February 2015. The next steps include looking for joint research projects, potentially establishing opportunities for Danish researchers to co-supervise students and potentially develop opportunities for Masters and PhD students to visit Aalborg.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful team of colleagues that I work with. I was reminded of their dedication to students, to teaching, research and to the University when I received a letter from the Dean of Law, Professor John Williams thanking the School of Nursing for our involvement in Law School’s ‘Lex Salus’ Health and Well-Being Week in August last year. There was a great article published by Kellie Toole, Mark Giancaspro and Corrine Walding from the Adelaide Law School. ‘Students Open Up About Mental Health and Well-Being’ (December 2013) published in the Law School Bulletin.

Wishing you and your families a Happy Easter!

Alison Kitson
Dean of Nursing
Head of School

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HESTA Conference Scholarship – Recipients Announced

Congratulations to the receipents awarded the last round of HESTA conference scholarships. Well done to:

  • Louise Aiton
  • Julie Campbell
  • Liz Kraft

The next round for the HESTA Conference Scholarship will open on 31 March 2014.

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Welcome to the Austrian students

On 28 February, the School of Nursing staff were treated to a presentation from our Austrian student visitors; Anna, Karin, Katharina, Michaela and Nicole. Their presentation, ‘Differences we experienced between Australia and Austria’, started with a film depicting their hospital in Austria which ran through all the levels of care provided. The students explained Nursing education in Austria including detailing the many hours of placement within the School, university and including practical experience. It was interesting for staff to hear about the different experiences in Austria compared to Australia. For example, in Austria doctors and nurses need to wear a uniform and must not leave the hospital in this uniform. We may just see these students being the pioneers of the Austrian nursing board as they now understand the value of regulation and an overall group forecasting future workforce requirements.

The Austrian student (front) pictured with some School of Nursing staff


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New University of Adelaide learning and teaching facility opens at the Lyell McEwin Hospital

Staff from the Schools of Medicine and Nursing recently joined staff from the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NAHLN) in celebrating the opening of a state of the art learning space for our undergraduates at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. The facility is housed within a new Women’s and Children’s block and is adjacent to the new administrative headquarters of the hospital. This will provide outstanding opportunities for small group learning, clinical skills training and simulation. There is high calibre IT infrastructure and office space to accommodate future academic expansion at that base. The opening was presided over by the Dean of Nursing, Professor Alison Kitson, Dean of Medicine, Professor Alistair Burt, together with the Executive Dean, Professor Justin Beilby and the CEO of NALHN, Margot Mains.

Professor Alison Kitson (third left), pictured with Professor Justin Beilby (middle) and Professor Alistair Burt (second right) with senior leaders from the Lyell McEwin Hospital

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Singapore program is re-accredited

The Bachelor of Nursing (Post Registration) is now in its fifth year and the third intake of students will graduate in March 2014. We are very pleased to report that the program has recently been reaccredited until 2018 by the Singapore Nursing Board. Currently there are approximately 90 students enrolled in the program and numbers are increasing every year.  A new course, Teaching in Nursing Practice, will commence in Semester 2.

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Namaste from Nepal

In late November, Crystal Tudo, Bachelor of Nursing graduand, went with fellow University of Adelaide students on a volunteer placement experience. They journeyed to Nepal where they met lots of fellow Australian’s from other disciplines.

Each day the group volunteered running ‘health camps’ which consisted of daytime tents to treat villagers with the focus on three small villages in area of Chitwan, Nepal. The bus picked the group up in the morning and Crystal explained they would turn up to a long line of villagers waiting to be seen by medicine and nursing students. Once the villagers were triaged, they would be directed to the relevant tent where they were seen to by a Nepalese doctor. The villagers presented with many issues from needing minor first aid treatment, to gynaecology to more serious health problems. Crystal really enjoyed being in the education tent where they taught villagers about safety from animals, healthy eating and hand hygiene among many more topics. A highlight for Crystal was the home visits and women’s health groups where they got to teach female villagers about their own bodies which included checking for lumps.

Village tours and home visits gave Crystal a true idea about village life and while conducting village and home visits, living arrangements were surveyed to determine where funding was spent. At each village, unwanted clothes brought from Australia were presented to villagers. Crystal was impressed with the amazing culture and generosity of the Nepalese people. This was evidenced at a Nepalese wedding the group got to take part in, where the bride and groom actually served the group dinner.


Crystal riding an elephant in Nepal. Just one of the many wonderful experiences.

Crystal riding an elephant in Nepal. Just one of the many wonderful experiences.

This has been a great experience for Crystal and she fondly recalls elephants walking the street in front of the hotel every morning and the nearby elephant washing station where she spent many moments just watching the elephants in the water. One of the most standout emotional moments was when she encountered a 12 year old girl who was not able to attend School or play with the other kids as she had to care for her baby brother.

Crystal’s advice to anyone looking at volunteering… If you have ever thought of volunteering, Nepal is a great starting point and although the experience is overwhelming it’s an experience not be missed. You’ll also find that you make lifelong friends!

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Researcher in Focus: Cheryl Green

Tell us a little about you…
Hello, I am Cheryl Green. I hold a position in School of Nursing, University of Adelaide as Lecturer, Mental Health and  Substance Use. Mental health and substance use issues can, and do, occur in many health settings and populations. This provides me with the opportunity to contribute to learning and teaching across pre-registration and post-registration student groups. During the two years in this position I have enjoyed reviewing and adapting course materials to reflect contemporary clinical practice and learning and teaching approaches.

Current Research Projects
I am currently enrolled in Master Clinical Science as a pathway for entry into a PhD. The area of interest for research towards PhD is the assessment of young people 16 – 24 yrs in mental health services.

I also contribute to three different teams who are developing projects in relation to supporting nurses and midwives who experience substance use issues; the prevalence and nature of alcohol use in students nurses and the assessment of older persons in regards to substance use. These three projects are at various stages of development.

What inspired you to research in your field?
I practised as a mental health nurse working with adolescents for 20 years prior to coming to the position in University. Specialist mental health services are currently re-aligning to develop a dedicated service for young people 16 – 24 years. During this life stage, there is high prevalence of mental disorders, many of which can be severe and enduring. Early detection and interventions can alter the course and prognosis of these conditions. There is little available in the literature regarding working with young people in mental health services to develop a comprehensive assessment. My research aims to support clinicians, inform clinical practice in mental health services for young people.
I completed a Master’s degree some years ago and learned ‘about’ research. I have been interested to learn the ‘how to’ of research, to actually ‘do’ research.

What is the ultimate goal of your research?
I hope that the results of my research will inform and support mental health clinicians in their day to day clinical practice in working with young people to improve their lifestyles and outcomes.

Any advice for an early researcher?
This was given to me a few years ago. When deciding on the area of focus for your research, make sure you have a passion for it. The energy you have for the topic will sustain you through the challenges and bring satisfaction and pride in your work.

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Vacation Scholarships

On Thursday 27 February, Phoebe Drioli-Phillips, presented the results of her recent summer vacation scholarship to the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health. Phoebe is a Bachelor of Science student who was selected to undertake the five week scholarship. Phoebe’s project investigated a previously collected dataset of over 1500 respondents that measured men’s health seeking behaviour and use of services. Her work involved literature review and analysis testing for relationships between demographic variables, men’s attitudes to a dedicated men’s health service and self-monitoring of their own health status. Phoebe was supervised during her scholarship through the School of Nursing by Dr Lynette Cusack and Dr Tim Schultz.

Find out more information on vacation scholarships

Phoebe Drioli-Phillips pictured with Dr Tim Schultz

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Public Lecture by Dr Greta Cummings

Managing disparities in cancer care: what can we learn from international initiatives?
Wednesday 16 April 2014

Dr Cummings established the CLEAR Outcomes research program in leadership science in health services, which focuses on the leadership practices of healthcare decision-makers and managers to achieve better outcomes for providers and patients. Dr Cummings has systematically documented the effects, both positive and negative, of specific leadership practices on outcomes for the health system, the healthcare workforce and for patients. In November 2009, Dr Cummings received CIHR funding for a three-year observational study Older Persons’ Transitions in Care (OPTIC) research study that examines the quality of transitions of frail elderly clients between and among three care settings: Nursing Homes, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Departments.

Dr. Cummings is sought out by local, national, and international colleagues around the world to supervise students, collaborate on research, provide addresses on her leadership research, and to provide consultation. Her extensive community service contributions include numerous editorial and professional boards. She is currently President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.

More information

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