The University of Western Australia’s Associate Professor Rosemary Saunders has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the education of nurses.
Associate Professor Saunders, the former course coordinator for the Master Nursing Science Program at UWA’s School of Population Health, won the Education category at the WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards last month.
The award recognised her role in developing an innovative community partnership where nursing students engage with older adults in learning activities.
Associate Professor Saunders was instrumental in establishing Beyond the Teaching Nursing Home – A Community Partnership of Learning and Care, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between UWA’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and the Bethanie Group.
The partnership saw an unused wing of the former Bethanie Joondanna Nursing Home refurbished to create a hands-on clinical learning environment for registered and enrolled nursing students, medicine students and podiatric medicine students. The on-site learning centre means students can directly engage with older people and understand their specific health needs.
Associate Professor Saunders described the project, which was supported by a Health Workforce Australia grant and officially launched in April this year, as the highlight of her career. She joined UWA in 2009, teaching in the Master of Nursing Science program where she is known for her leadership qualities, thoughtful and easy going nature, and passion for nursing education.
Associate Professor Saunders said she loved working with students and the challenges of teaching and facilitating.
“I enjoy contributing to a student’s development on their journey to be a nurse,” she said.
The WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellent Awards are an important opportunity to publicly recognise and celebrate the achievements of nurses and midwives who have made an outstanding contribution to the nursing and midwifery professions in WA.
Health Minister Kim Hames said the winners would serve as a source of inspiration for other nurses and midwives, through their excellence in providing care in their chosen field.