2021: Celebrating 25 Years of Nursing

25 Years of Nursing at the University of Melbourne

The Department of Nursing is delighted to celebrate 25 years of Nursing at the University of Melbourne this year. As we reach this important milestone it is timely to reflect upon both our achievements and our evolution as an academic community since 1995. For a quarter of a century, our department has been at the forefront of excellence in nurse-led research, generating evidence and incorporating the perspectives of patients, consumers and families into the design and delivery of nursing care, health policy and innovative curricula to prepare the future nursing workforce.

Nursing students with dummy
In this, our 25th year, we want to especially pay tribute to our students, staff, healthcare partners, alumni, patients and their families, all of whom have so generously contributed in so many ways to establishing and growing Nursing at Melbourne.

The pandemic has drawn into sharp attention the essential role both quality education and nurse-led health services research play in enabling the health workforce to respond to rapidly evolving crises, adopt new health technologies and adapt to health system level change.

The "State of the World's Nursing" (WHO) report, published in April 2020 underscores both the value and the enormous potential of the nursing workforce to contribute to three key areas of health system reform: enabling universal health coverage; supporting health and well-being and responding to the emergence of new diseases, epidemics and natural disasters. In order for nurses to contribute to these important goals, WHO rightly argues that new approaches to higher education in leadership, research, innovation, health systems, and change management are needed.

WHO’s report calls for dedicated efforts to maximise the potential reach of the nursing workforce by  enhancing their roles within inter-professional health teams. As front-line providers of health care, nurses must be equipped to assume leadership roles and expand their scope of practice to meet population needs. Here at The University of Melbourne, our award courses such as Melbourne’s Master of Nursing Science and Master of Advanced Nursing Practice enable our future health workforce to proactively address current and future global health needs.

Nursing students with sanitiser

As a team, we are proud of the scholarly and practice orientated outcomes we have delivered in collaboration with our healthcare partners, our students and our community. In our 25th year, we have committed to orientating our research, teaching and engagement efforts around WHO's sustainable development goals, with a core focus on strengthening the nursing workforce in order to lead and actively participate multi-disciplinary efforts that address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for all.

Our event series

Over the course of 2021, we are celebrating the central role nurses play as leaders and members of multidisciplinary teams in designing and delivering healthcare. A series of events, featuring nurse leaders who have made positive contributions to knowledge generation, patient and family outcomes and health system is planned, beginning in March and running through to December 2021.

During our seminar series, we will explore the role nurses have played as part of wider multi-disciplinary responses to address a range of topics from health inequalities, delivering care to vulnerable populations, and achieving health improvements through collaborative action. In doing so, we aim to bring to the fore the core issues shaping the future of the profession and to consider implications for real world practice change.

Alongside our seminar series will be a retrospective podcast series where we speak to each of the former Heads of Nursing at the University and see how the vision for the department has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of students, patients and practice.

We invite you to share your experience of 25 years at the University of Melbourne using the hashtag #25NursingUoM

Dates for your diary

Thursday 18 March 2021

25 Years later: Working together with families to reduce babies’ pain

Presented by Professor Denise Harrison

Online event

Watch the recording here

Wednesday 12 May 2021

The annual Marian Barrett lecture: Can nurses reduce the health impacts of inequity? Leading from the frontline

Presented by Professor Sanchia Aranda AM

Online event

Watch the recording here

Thursday 12 August 2021

What are the implications of voluntary assisted dying for nursing practice?

Panel discussion facilitated by Professor Peter Hudson

Online event

Watch the recording here

Tuesday 26 October 2021

The role of process evaluation in clinical trials

Presented by Professor Leanne Aitken (Professor of Critical Care, City University London)

Online event

Watch the Recording here

Talking Heads Podcast

As part of our 25 Years of Nursing at Melbourne series, the Department of Nursing’s Bronwyn Tarrant has interviewed each of the five Heads of Department since the Department’s inception and brought them together in our Talking Heads podcast series. In this fantastic series, Bronwyn speaks to the former Heads – and our current Head – looking back on their time at Melbourne, career highlights and what leading Nursing at Melbourne meant to them. Expect to reminisce over some inspiring memories, reflect on the evolution of teaching, learning and research in the Nursing profession and discussions on what the future holds. We invite you to share these podcasts with colleagues across your networks.