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Get involved: academic urges nurses to get into research

Mei Krishnasamy has a strong Cardiff accent that belies her many years in Melbourne. The Welsh native has been living in Australia on and off since the early 2000s, and since 2016 has been the inaugural chair of cancer nursing at the University of Melbourne.

Krishnasamy has a passion for advocating for and enhancing the nursing care of patients, borne of her first job at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and it continues to this day in her roles as the chair as well as the Education Lead for Cancer Nursing at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Previous roles as president of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, president of the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia and a lead member of the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care cement her belief that oncology nurses are pivotal in cancer care.

Krishnasamy wants nurses to take active roles in research, something that wasn’t on her radar as a young nurse.

“I always joke with students now, and say, 'The only thing I remember about research from my training days was, it was probably one of the very last lectures we had, as a student nurse. And this lady came in, and she had a hole in her stocking, and that's all I remember about the research session,' she laughed.

“But then, you're moving into practise very quickly, thinking, 'actually, I just don't know why I'm doing this stuff in the way I'm doing it'."

This led her to complete a masters along side her clinical practice and then a PhD. Now in Melbourne, education and improvements to the nursing profession are her focus.

Krishnasamy spoke with Nursing Review about nurses in research, oncology education and her work at UniMelb.

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