ACT News

New ACT centre to boost nursing and midwifery research

A new nursing and midwifery centre launched in the ACT is set to boost research into areas such as ageing, dementia, mental health and chronic disease. 

The new research centre will be delivered under a partnership between the University of Canberra and ACT Health and will bring together teaching, research and clinical practice. 

The new research centre will be delivered under a partnership between the University of Canberra and ACT Health.
The new research centre will be delivered under a partnership between the University of Canberra and ACT Health. Photo: Rohan Thomson

ACT Chief Nurse Veronica Croome said the partnership would enable research into areas such as the ageing population including dementia, mental health and chronic disease such as diabetes.

"We will be doing a lot of research into the future workforce requirements for the ACT and we'll be looking at what areas we need to focus on ... what courses we need to run to make sure we've got a sustainable workforce in the future," she said. 

Ms Croome said the partnership between the University of Canberra and ACT Health bridged the gap between academics and clinicians "in relation to working toward patient care". 

"Once upon a time, clinicians worked without the evidence and academics worked without necessarily the clinical knowledge," she said.

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"Partnerships like the one we're developing now with the University of Canberra means we're bringing academics and clinicians closer together and we're all on the same page and we're all working together using the evidence and using contemporary practice to improve patient outcomes." 

The University of Canberra/ACT Health Research Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Practice was officially launched at a nursing and midwifery conference in Canberra this week. 

The centre will be led by Professor Belinda Happell, an internationally recognised expert in mental health.

She said the position, which she starts in January, was an exciting opportunity to "establish a research agenda with a direct relevance to clinical practice, providing practical solutions to real world problems".

University of Canberra health faculty dean Diane Gibson said the research centre would enhance the quality of nursing and midwifery students who would be working in the territory's hospitals and clinics by providing research-led clinical education.