Where your degree can take you…

In December 2013, Ms Dolorosa Shabangu completed the Master of Nursing Science (Anaesthetics and Recovery) program. The thesis component of her program explored the role of Anaesthetic Nurses in Australia and was supervised by Dr Philippa Rasmussen and Mr Frank Donnelly. Following completion she returned to Swaziland to her position as a Nurse Anaesthetist at the Mbabane Government Hospital.

In October 2014, Ms Shabangu visited the School of Nursing whilst in Adelaide on holiday. She reported that since returning to Swaziland she as contributed to improving clinical practice and developing policy for nursing at the Mbabane Government Hospital. Additionally she led the development and implementation of the curriculum for the Bachelor of Nursing Science (Nurse Anaesthesia) at Southern Africa Nazarene University Swaziland. This program was accepted for accreditation by the Southern Africa Nazarene University senate and commenced in August. She reported that previously nurses needed to leave Swaziland to undertake such a program. Ms Shabangu attributes her ability to undertake these achievements to the clinical specialty, coursework and research skills she developed as a student of the Master of Nursing Science program.

We congratulate Dolorosa on her achievements since she completed the Master of Nursing Science program. If you have a story to tell, don’t forget to let us know.

Ms Dolorosa Shabangu with Dr Philippa Rasmussen in October 2014






Ms Dolorosa Shabangu pictured with colleagues at Mbabane Government Hospital



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Oncology students learn cancer care

Students in Stage 1 of the Master of Nursing Science (Oncology Nursing) program learned about their speciality from two very different aspects in workshops in September.

The first day was held at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and covered diverse topics related to the care of a child diagnosed with cancer, from the types of cancers seen, their effects and nursing care, to play therapy provided for inpatients and outpatients. A visit to the ward topped off a fascinating day gaining insight into this specialised area of cancer nursing.

The second workshop day was held at Cancer Council SA and students heard from School of Nursing Alumna Dr Marion Eckert (General Manager, Cancer Control) on current policy development aimed at reducing the impact of cancer on a population level. A representative from Cancer Voices shared both positive and challenging experiences during her cancer journey giving valuable insight into the importance of cancer nursing from a consumer perspective. The day was topped off with visits to a Cancer Council Lodge (where rural residents diagnosed with cancer can stay during treatment) and the Cancer Council Support and Information Service and time to talk with nurses providing this service.

All in all a great couple of days learning about cancer nursing and on behalf of the School sincere thanks go to all those involved from W&CH and Cancer Council SA for their support of postgraduate student learning.

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From the Dean of Nursing

Adelaide Medical Nursing Schools Project

Construction has officially begun on the biggest capital works project in the University of Adelaide’s history – the new $206 million Medical and Nursing Schools building in Adelaide’s West End. I was delighted to attend the Sod Turning Ceremony along with the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Jay Weatherill, our Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington and one of our first year students, Dearbhla Grant. Read more


We recently launched a Facebook page for the School of Nursing. ‘Like’ us on Facebook and be kept up to date with information relating to student studies, scholarship opportunities, events and activity from the wider nursing community.

Open Day

What a turnout for the University of Adelaide’s Open Day on Sunday 17 August! I was so proud to see our current students successfully promoting nursing at the University of Adelaide, and nursing as a profession. And a big thank you and congratulations to two of our final year Bachelor of Nursing students, Bianca Cooper and Daniel Hall who were a major highlight of the Nursing @ Adelaide information talk. The information talk will be available online on Degree Finder.

You too can be part of Open Day in 2015. Our success is built on student involvement. Thank you to all who attended Open Day in 2014, I look forward to next year.

Planning day

The School of Nursing held a 2015 planning day in August. We locked ourselves away for the whole day and came away with a clear focus for 2015. The School’s main areas of focus will be: inter-professional learning and simulation development in the new health precinct building at the west end, developing and adapting online learning solutions, research projects and publications and also developing a new model for clinical placement.


We have welcomed Dr. Jo Dollard to the team for three months to work on the initial development of the LINKIN 2 project. This project builds on the NHMRC research study undertaken in Port Lincoln to develop and evaluate a Population-based Health Systems Laboratory. Jo will be working on the development and piloting a methodology to map the processes of care for older people who have frequent hospital admissions, including some that are potentially preventable.

In August, we said farewell to Christine Pryor, Chris Hiscox from the Clinical Lecturer team. Recruitment is now underway in the Clinical Lecturer team.

Dr Philippa Rasmussen and Dr Rick Wiechula represented the School of Nursing on a visit to Austria this month. Philippa and Rick are in the process of developing a student study tour program in Austria. When established, this program will be an exciting opportunity for our students to further their studies and get exposure to international nursing activity. Read more

Congratulations to Dr. Philippa Rasmussen and Frank Donnelly for their recent promotion to Lecturer Level C.


We were fortunate to have international researcher, Professor Anne Marie Rafferty visit us on Thursday 7 August. Professor Rafferty was in town for a Conference and kindly accepted an invitation to visit the School. Professor Rafferty presented to the School of Nursing about her past and present experiences. With a British flavour, Professor Rafferty covered topics such as Nightingale’s leadership legacy and the relevance for policy and practice today.

On 1 – 3 October the School of Nursing will once again host an International Research Conversazione here at the North Terrace Campus. The Conversazione program includes; armchair interviews with international researchers Anna Ehrenberg, Lars Wallin and Alison Tierney; presentations by School of Nursing students; a panel discussion on supervision and another on ethics. If you are interested in research at the School of Nursing, register to attend.

Finally, on behalf of everyone in the School of Nursing I would like to offer sincere congratulations to the recent graduates who had their degrees conferred on the 17 September. You should be very proud of the achievement.

Five Bachelor of Nursing (Post-Registration) students from Singapore chose to travel to Adelaide with their families to graduate in the September ceremony. Pictured here with lectures Tiffany Conroy and Paul McLiesh









Alison Kitson
Dean of Nursing
Head of School

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Nursing Industry Networking Event

On 23 July, final year pre-registration students came together with some industry representatives for the Nursing Careers Industry Networking Event 2014. This was a highly successful event for students and industry alike with special guest speaker, Lieutenant Commander Amy York. Not surprisingly 100% of the student responses to an evaluation survey said they found the event ‘useful’ to ‘very useful’ for their career planning and would recommend the event in future years. Thank you to the Careers Service, the Faculty of Health Sciences industry and of course students for making this event a success.

Like the School of Nursing on Facebook to view the photos.

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Myanmar fellows

The School of Nursing, in collaboration with School of Nursing and Midwifery at the  University of South Australia, hosted four nursing fellows from Myanmar. The ten week fellowship included clinical observation as well as learning and teaching activities. The nursing fellows were from the specialty areas including: Yin Mar Han- Orthopaedic; Nang Awng- Emergency; Moe Thida- Intensive Care and Thet Thet Su Han – Gerontology. The purpose of the fellowship was for the Myanmar nurses to experience the Australian Healthcare system, and nursing education and practice in Australia. The outcome was the development of a plan to implement the new knowledge and skills into nursing education and practice in Myanmar. There were also cultural activities included in the program to further enhance the nurses’ experience. On their final day, the fellows presented a report on their clinical observation and learning and teaching experiences to staff from both universities.

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Researcher in Focus: Dr Tim Schultz

Tell us a little about you…

Born and raised in Adelaide, after finishing a Bachelor of Arts, then an Honours degree in Zoology at University of Adelaide, I moved to Darwin and spent 10 years working and studying there. My first job involved studying the ecology of mangroves, and the physiology of reptiles – lots of field work but also time spent in the laboratory. I met and married Angela in Darwin, we had two sons born there and a daughter after moving back to Adelaide. We’ve just demolished a house and are building a new one over the next 9 or so months – so be nice to me if I’m looking frazzled!

Current Research Projects

My main current research project at School of Nursing is in the broad domain of ‘healthy ageing’ knowledge translation. We are conducting an umbrella review, essentially a review of systematic reviews, looking at nutritional interventions for optimising a healthy body composition for older, community dwelling people. Once we have completed the review, we will be feeding back the results to service providers and clinicians, policy makers, researchers and older people, with the aim of developing relevant, evidence-based resources to guide practice and inform consumers. We have identified a number of other topics in the healthy ageing domain; this project is a bit of a ‘trial run’ to hone the method.

My other research concerns patient safety and examines topics such as the use of incident reporting systems in health, analysis of adverse events and near misses, and the implementation of interventions such as the World Health Organisation’s Surgical Safety Checklist.

What inspired you to research in your field?

Originally, I was inspired to become a researcher because of a great third year Zoology lecturer who brought the topic of ‘Comparative Anatomy and Physiology’ to life, with interesting lectures and practicals. I just found it fascinating to learn how, for example, hopping mice don’t need to drink, that there’s a frog that breathes through its skin while submerged, and that lizards can ‘drink’ fog. It was really satisfying to have him examine (and pass!) my PhD thesis about 10 years later.

More recently, I am inspired by the stories, intense drive and motivation of patients, and the families of patients, who have been seriously harmed by their healthcare. Much of their passion comes from an altruistic response of ‘never wanting this to happen to others’, which I guess is a very human characteristic of wanting to make the best out of a bad situation.

What is the ultimate goal of your research?

I think health research should have the patient/consumer, and how to deliver the best outcomes for them, at its core.

Any advice for an early researcher?

Research something that interests you. Write it up and publish it even if it stops interesting you!

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School of Nursing visit to Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) Institute of Nursing Science and Practice Salzburg, Austria

Dr Philippa Rasmussen and Dr Rick Wiechula visited Paracelsus Medical University (PMU) Institute of Nursing Science and Practice this month. The visit was funded by a Beacon Study Tour Set Up grant. The PMU Institute of Nursing Science and Practice has a partnership agreement with the School of Nursing for reciprocal student study tours. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the academic and health facilities and resources available for the outbound student study tour in 2015. Dr Rasmussen and Dr Wiechula had discussions with Prof Dr Dr h c Jurgen Osterbrink, Associate Professor. Dr. Andre Ewers, MScN and Karin Kapfer and other academic staff at the University.

Dr Rasmussen and Dr Wiechula also travelled to the General Hospital and Training Centre in Voecklabruck where they presented a session to staff. This tour was organised by the nursing principal Mag. Dagmar Einschwanger, MBA, Mag. Franz Stadlmann and their team. This facility is one of the settings where Bachelor of Nursing students from the School will be undertaking clinical observation experiences in patient care in 2015.

Karin Kapfer, MA, Principal Mag. Dagmar Einschwanger, Ass-Prof. Dr. Andre Ewers, MScN, Dr. Philippa Rasmussen and Dr. Rick Wiechula.


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Staff member receives ACRA award

At the recent 2014 Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) national conference in Sydney, lecturer, Sindy Millington, received an acknowledgement of her contributions to ACRA during her term of office. Sindy was elected as vice-president in 2010 and served as national president from 2011 till 2013. Her term included facilitating ACRA’s expanding role in both national and international scene. Well done Sindy on the commendation!

ACRA is the peak body which provides support and advocacy for multidisciplinary health professionals to deliver evidence-based best practice across the continuum of cardiovascular care. The body aims to empower health professionals to achieve optimal and equitable outcomes for all affected by cardiovascular disease. More information [http://www.acra.net.au/]

ACRA award received by Sindy Millington for her outstanding contribution


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Japanese exchange students

Students from Hyogo University of Health Sciences in Japan with their tutor, Assoc. Prof. Toshie Tsuchida and fellow University of Adelaide staff, Ryan Clarke (top left) and Jan Alderman (second row, far right)

By Esther Currie, Bachelor of Nursing student

Many of us had the privilege of meeting Japanese nursing students visiting the University of Adelaide’s School of Nursing over the past few weeks. The ten girls joined students throughout the undergraduate year levels, experiencing different aspects of our nursing coursework from lectures to problem-based learning tutorials.

The girls were a friendly and curious group of first, second or fourth (final) year nursing students, eager to learn about this new country and Australian nursing. The Japanese students diligently compared the University of Adelaide and their university’s nursing training whilst we learnt about their education. After visiting the Royal Adelaide Hospital, they had many questions, but seemed particularly amazed at the number of male nurses working there.

The Japanese students marvelled at our multicultural society and wondered at our “Australian-isms” (such as our speech and South Australian icons like our pie floater and Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee). The “Cheesegrater” on the new RAH site was quite a source of amusement! One well appreciated highlight of their visit was holding a koala and feeding other native wildlife at the Cleland Wildlife Park. Another fun social outing with local Bachelor of Nursing students was eating delectable desserts at the San Churro Chocolateria, with some of the girls managing to eat large serves typically reserved for two-four people!

We are thankful to have enriched the girls’ experiences of nursing, Australia and its people, whilst receiving a broader knowledge and appreciation ourselves of the Japanese people, their culture and nursing. The Japanese students commented that Australians are really friendly people. With the potential for University of Adelaide nursing students to travel to Japan and experience nursing training overseas early next year, some of our students hope to re-unite!

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