Nursing lecturers win national teaching awards

September 13, 2016

Caroline Browne was honoured for her international nursing student placements

Caroline Browne was honoured for her international nursing student placements

Murdoch University nursing lecturers have won national teaching awards for their innovative learning programs.

Dr Martin Hopkins, Prue Andrus and Caroline Browne from the School of Health Professions have been awarded Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, as part of the Australian Awards for University Teaching, administered by the Department of Education and Training.

Dr Hopkins and Ms Andrus, who were awarded a team citation, won praise for the development and implementation of a simulation program to prepare undergraduate students for real clinical environments.

“We thrive on seeing students develop their knowledge, clinical skills and love for nursing, and to be rewarded for it is the icing on the cake,” said Dr Hopkins, who together with Ms Andrus have more than 50 years of nursing experience.

“It is vital Murdoch produces nursing graduates who are confident and skilled in a clinical setting, so developing and delivering a simulation program which gives students real world experiences helps us to embed essential competencies.

“Our students are influential ambassadors for our University, so when they apply their experiences from simulation to the workplace, making a positive impact on patients, nurses and other health care professionals, it is very powerful.”

Ms Browne was successful for inspiring and facilitating undergrads to take work placements in developing countries like Thailand and Cambodia.

“These placements enable students the opportunity to experience nursing and health care in a very different setting to the one they experience in Perth,” she said.

Prue Andrus and Martin Hopkins won praise for their simulation program

Prue Andrus and Martin Hopkins won praise for their simulation program

“It helps them to develop communication and cross cultural awareness skills, which is very useful in a multicultural country such as Australia. They also get to work within a team in sometimes stressful situations, which help them to develop leadership skills and resilience.”

Ms Browne undertook a similar placement when she was a university student, and she said the experience had resonated throughout her nursing career.

“It is rewarding to have seen the way our visits to the Om Goi region in Thailand have delivered benefits for the community in the region, and helped to build relationships between Murdoch students and staff, and the nursing staff at the local hospital,” she added.

“It’s also lovely to be recognised in this way, because a lot of hard work has gone into growing the program over the last three years.”

All three nursing lecturers were also recently recognised by Murdoch University for their teaching excellence.

Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen said the recipients are helping the University to provide transformative experiences for students.

“Caroline, Martin and Prue are helping to prepare our students for their future, assisting them to learn from real life experiences and situations in engaging and innovative ways,” she said. “I congratulate each of them for this wonderful achievement.”

Dr Hopkins, Ms Andrus and Ms Browne will receive their awards at a ceremony on Thursday, 6 October at Fraser’s King’s Park. The recipients will receive $10,000 per citation.

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