Nursing research and training at The University of Western Australia and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has been boosted with the appointment of Desley Hegney as Winthrop Professor of Nursing at UWA and Professor of Nursing Research at SCGH.
Previously Director of Research at The Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at the National University of Singapore, Professor Hegney's research expertise includes nurse-led models of health care delivery, nursing workforce issues (particularly compassion fatigue) and rural nursing practice. Her work on recruitment and retention of rural nurses has been cited extensively within Australia and internationally.
Winthrop Professor Matthew Knuiman, from UWA's School of Population Health, said Professor Hegney's appointment was expected to lead to a big increase in the number of nurses undertaking a Masters degree by research or PhD at UWA.
"Given Professor Hegney's experience in the development of nurse practitioner programs, we also expect that UWA, in partnership with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and other industry partners, will develop advanced nursing practice programs, including programs that lead to endorsement as a nurse practitioner," Professor Knuiman said.
As Professor of Nursing Research at SCGH, Professor Hegney will provide leadership and academic mentorship for nursing research. She will also work collaboratively with other nurse academic consultants from Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities who are undertaking research as well as providing research training to nurses at SCGH.
The joint appointment cements a partnership between academics and industry to build nursing research and help nurses improve the quality of patient care.
Professor Hegney has also worked as Director of the Blue Care Research and Practice Development Centre (University of Queensland), Director of the Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health (Queensland), and the Sister Elizabeth Kenny Chair in Rural and Remote Area Nursing (University of Southern Queensland).
She is a Foundation editor of the Australian Journal of Rural Health and currently an editorial board member for Nurse Researcher and the International Electronic Journal of Rural and Remote Health Research, Education, Practice and Policy.