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Outstanding nurse educators honoured in last ALTC awards

The nations' future nurses are in good hands if this year's Australian Learning and Teaching awards are anything to judge by, with 13 awards going to teachers in the field of nursing and midwifery.

For the last time the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Teaching Awards, which is to be wound down in January of next year, celebrated Australia's most outstanding teachers in higher education.

Of the 210 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning awarded this year, 10 individuals and three teams across 10 institutions were recognized for their contribution to nursing education.

Worth $10,000 each, the awards will be presented at the Sydney Opera House on August 16.
Below is a list of the winners who have made significant contribution to the learning of nursing students.

Patricia Barkway, Flinders University: Barkway teaches mental health and health psychology to nursing students using approaches that motivate and support students to become independent learners who recognise the importance of providing psychological as well as physical care to their patients.

Stephane Bouchoucha, Charles Darwin University: As a registered nurse and an early career academic, Bouchoucha has successfully designed authentic assessments that promote critical thinking skills and empower students to become competent, autonomous practitioners. His approach to assessment engages students in productive learning and enables development of self awareness.

Associate Professor Fiona Coyer, Queensland University of Technology: For nearly two decades, Coyer has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the teaching of intensive care nursing. Her contribution to postgraduate student learning has been achieved through the development of a work integrated learning model at the student's own workplace, development of the clinical lecturer role, and establishment of flexible entry pathways for students. Coyer's commitment to intensive care nursing education has resulted in dramatically improved levels of student access and participation in postgraduate studies.

Associate Professor Judy Currey, Deakin University: By integrating team-based learning into courses where professional skills are dependent on critical thinking and teamwork, Currey has created what are reputably the most innovative critical care nursing courses in Australia, together with a highly skilled teaching team.

Karen Glaister, Curtin University of Technology: Glaister is committed to developing quality, innovative and engaging curriculum to advance health practitioners' skills in chronic condition self-management. Her cutting edge approaches to eLearning, authentic learning and assessment, and resource development has positioned Curtin as a leader in the field of diabetes education. Glaister's work has been adopted by other universities and government agencies.

Dr Sarah List, University of South Australia: Engagement with science is essential for student success as a nursing health professional and for good patient outcomes. List utilises transformational theory to stimulate curiosity and transform student conceptions about science in nursing from being irrelevant and intimidating to engaging and essential. Her approach employs a thorough understanding of pedagogy and educational theory, and has strongly impacted on both student evaluation of her courses and teaching.

Veronica Madigan, Charles Sturt University: Authentic professional practice is brought into the classroom with original paramedic cases studies, clinical scenarios and problem based learning situations. Madigan was an intensive care paramedic for 12 years and uses this lived experience to engage students in authentic clinical mannequin simulations; PBL power points and unique reality software. Students are inspired and motivated by wearing uniforms, working in teams and using genuine equipment to simulate real life cases that require urgent diagnosis and treatment.

Bernadette McCabe, University of Southern Queensland: Integrating novel with more traditional learning approaches has been a unifying technique in McCabe's science instruction to diverse student cohorts. A combination of a 'less is more' threshold concepts strategy and Tablet PC technology has proved immensely effective for her and has empowered nursing students to succeed in studying science. microbiology.

Caroline Nilson, Murdoch University: Nilson's teaching philosophy is based on caring relationships. She places a high value on the subjectivity and inter-subjectivity of relationships. She considers that 'caring for' others begins with 'caring about' others. Nurses need to base their care on a holistic relationship-centred model. Through the art project the students are able to mobilise their own personal, aesthetic and ethical knowledge, which when combined with empirical knowing, forms the framework for a model of care.

Associate Professor Diane Phillips, Deakin University: Phillips has led the implementation of a series of innovations that engage and motivate students in meaningful, authentic learning experiences that have set the standard for the professional preparation of midwives in Victoria. Through face-to-face and online teaching and mentoring; course design; and professional partnership she has made a significant contribution to student learning. Student and industry partner feedback and institutional awards, evidence the positive impact of her contribution.

Clinical Placements Team, The University of Notre Dame Australia, (Kylie Russell, Janet Cooke, Wendy Mrsa, Ella Patterson, Corinne Kusel): The Clinical Practicum Program for undergraduate nurses was developed with a mandate from local industry to increase the clinical skills of graduating nurses. The result was the formation of the Clinical Placements Team which, in the degree's 11th year, continues to adapt the program to provide innovation in practicum design to enhance student growth and development in a constantly changing healthcare and social environment.

Helping Hands, University of Southern Queensland (Lynne Stuart, Vicki-Ellen Horner, Roslyn Wharton-Boland, Sherry Holzapfel, Anne-Maree Nielsen): The Helping Hands team from USQ's Department of Nursing and Midwifery has developed and implemented a package of retention and support strategies 'Helping Hands for Indigenous Nursing Students', which has also been translated into a written indigenous nursing support model. Since its implementation, it has contributed to a large growth in enrolments and graduations, with the annual graduation rate over the period 2007-2011 nearly six times that for the previous 17 years.

The Clinical Communication Project team, Flinders University (Didy Button, Moira Kelton, Karen Wotton, Gregory Mathews): The Clinical Communication Program (CCP) was developed as a study aid by a team including academic and general staff. The CCP is underpinned by sound teaching and learning philosophy to provide an online interactive learning tool that involves students within the Australian contemporary nursing context. The CCP activities comprise 16 complex patients promoting student engagement for learning using various strategies that recognise different learning styles. Students critically analyse data to make inferences and clinical judgments.

Summaries provided by ALTC.

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