Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research

The Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group (ENMHSRG) is committed to engaging in rigorous educational research. This research inform the development of quality research evidence to inform and enhance teaching and learning practices within the School and contributes to the body of knowledge about educational practices in nursing and midwifery locally, nationally and internationally. The group is formed around research interest and strengths in the area of:  

  • Clinical decision-making 
  • Simulation in teaching and learning 
  • Clinical facilitation models 
  • Assessment  
  • Technologies and learning
  • Patient education

Symposia

Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Symposium.

 

The Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group conducted a successful symposium, Interdisciplinary Education, Learning and Practice, on the 7th September 2016, at the City East Campus of UniSA.  Associate Professor Rachael Vernon, Chair of the Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group opened the Symposium and introduced the keynote speaker, Eileen McKinlay, from the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

The following presentations were offered on the Symposium:


Current research projects

Can competence be assured?

Investigators

  • Assoc Professor Rachael Vernon
  • Professor Mary Chiarella
  • Dr Elaine Papps

Funding

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (USA), Centre for Regulatory Excellence (US$57,940 / AUD$75,000)

Project Overview

This research seeks to explore the interface between professional nursing regulation and competence to practise, particularly in relation to continuing education and performance of competence and to identify whether public safety can be assured through performance of competence (perhaps something of a holy grail), or awareness of competence, or indeed incompetence.

The study builds on three previously published studies, Evaluation of the Continuing Competence Framework (Vernon, Chiarella, Papps & Dignam, 2010), Development of an international consensus model for the assessment of continuing competence (Vernon, 2013) and Associate Professor Vernon’s doctoral research Relationships between legislation, policy and continuing competence requirements for Registered Nurses in New Zealand (Vernon, 2013).

The common indicators of competence agreed by nurses and regulators alike are Continuing Professional Development (CPD), hours of practice and self-assessment against the competences. However, if these three indicators were a guarantee of competence, then arguably no-one would present as a notification for lack of competence, because all registrants are required to meet these criteria for registration renewal or recertification. In addition insight has been demonstrated to be the deciding factor for adjudicating bodies in relation to deregistration (Adrian & Chiarella, 2010; Vernon, et al., 2010; Vernon, 2013). We believe that there is a missing thread that is ‘competence awareness’ or ‘insight’. Thus the questions that remain unanswered are; can insight be identified, measured and assured, and is this preferable to the measurement of competence in clinical performance at a given point of time or in relation to the current requirements for registration, or renewal of registration / licensure / certification.

Contact

Assoc Professor Rachael Vernon (University of South Australia)


Compassion

Investigators

  • Dr Anne Hofmeyer
  • Dr Luisa Toffoli
  • Assoc Prof Rachael Vernon

Funding

Nurses Memorial Foundation of SA Inc (AUD$28,579)

Contact

Dr Anne Hofmeyer (University of South Australia)


Connecting for confidence:  a peer-support basic numeracy program (for medication calculations) to build confidence and connectedness for nursing students with basic numeracy and English language anxiety.  

Investigators

  • Mrs Deryn Thompson
  • Dr Sandra Ullrich

Funding

University of South Australia funded Teaching and Learning Grant (2015)

Project Overview

Many beginning Health Science university students experience anxieties which may affect their student experience, psychological wellbeing and graduation potential. Two common anxieties link to numeracy skills and, for international students, English language anxiety. 

A lack of basic numeracy skills are cause of ongoing concern by academic staff as numeracy levels do not reflect those assumed for beginning tertiary students. Some nursing students have limited understanding of basic numeracy concepts - multiplication, fractions, decimals, percentages, volumes and ratios which affects their ability to undertake medication calculations. Beginning international students often experience great anxiety when asked to interact with their peers, in tutorials. A pilot project in 2014 explored a possible answer to this issue, by buddying international students who were competent in numeracy, but had English language anxiety, with students who were struggling with basic numeracy skills. Face-to-face tuition by a maths tutor provided numeracy skills tuition and International students who excelled at maths, assisted the struggling students as ‘numeracy study skill leaders’ in weekly practice group activities.

For more information please visit: Connecting for Confidence Moodle site

Contact

Ms Deryn Thompson (University of South Australia)


Implementation and evolution of a shared clinical facilitation model for midwifery students 

Investigators

  • Dr Lois McKellar
  • Assoc Professor Rachael Vernon
  • Dr Julie Fleet

Funding

University of South Australia funded Teaching and Learning Grant (2014-2015)

Project Overview

This project will build on a non-funded project undertaken this year by the CI in collaboration with SA Health, Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN), UniSA and Flinders University to develop a shared clinical facilitation model for midwifery students who undertake clinical placement at a site used by multiple education providers. This project will be complemented in two stages. Stage 1 will pilot the shared clinical facilitation model for midiwfery students and Stage 2 will evaluate the efficacy of the clinical facilitation model in promoting a quality clinical learning experience for students. Findings of research will be used to enhanced and further refine the clinical facilitation model and student learning experience for potential implementation at other sites shared by multiple midwifery education providers.

Contact

Dr Lois McKellar (University of South Australia)


Current Systematic Review projects

The effectiveness of clinical education models for undergraduate nursing programs: a systematic review

Review team:

  • Dr Rasika Jayasekara
  • A/Prof. Colleen Smith
  • Dr Cath Hall
  • Elaine Rankin
  • Morgan Smith
  • Vicky Visvanathan
  • Terry-Renette Friebe

Project description

Globally, nursing services and nurse educators are seeking better ways to prepare nurses for practice in health services that are constantly changing. In the years since, various education models have been used to improve students’ nursing practice knowledge and skills (Budgen & Gamroth 2008; Hall-Lord, Theander & Athlin 2013). Despite the wealth of evidence evaluating verity of clinical placement models for nursing students, little attention has been given to its effect on student learning outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review was to appraise and synthesise the best available evidence on the effectiveness of clinical education models for undergraduate nursing programs.

Progress: Review completed. Publication completion date: Mid- November 2014

Contact:

Dr Rasika Jayasekara


The effectiveness of clinical simulation models for undergraduate nursing programs: a systematic review

Review team:

  • Dr Rasika Jayasekara
  • Dr Barbara Parker
  • Elaine Rankin
  • Fiona Forgione
  • A/Prof. Colleen Smith

Project description

Internationally, simulation is recognized as an innovative pedagogic approach for healthcare professional education. Today, simulation encompasses a range of delivery methods and modes including low-fidelity basic simulators  to high-fidelity interactive manikins with life-like qualities, and virtual online environments (Moule et al., 2008). The purpose of this systematic review is to review the effectiveness of human patient simulation in undergraduate nursing programs.

Progress: Review commenced. Review completion date: June 2015

Contact:

Dr Rasika Jayasekara

Latest news

Find out about the Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group’s latest news and previous symposiums, including information about events, collaborations, multimedia resources and key publications.

 

Completed Projects

Find out more about the research that has been recently completed by the Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Contact Us

Group Leader:
Assoc Professor Rachael Vernon
School of Nursing and Midwifery
UniSA City East Campus
T: +61 8 8302 2038
E: Rachael.Vernon@unisa.edu.au

Interested in joining the Education Research Group?

If you wish to join the Education in Nursing, Midwifery and Health Science Research Group, please submit an application via email with the following information:

  • a copy of your Curriculum Vitae
  • a statement detailing why you would like to join the Education Research Group

Areas of study and research

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