Sustainability and growth in nursing and midwifery will top Professor Ann Bonner’s agenda when she takes the reins at Australia’s best school for nursing.*

Professor Ann Bonner

“The School of Nursing and Midwifery has excelled in many rankings both here and internationally,” Professor Bonner said.

“My vision is to sustain that excellence into the future by growing the next wave of researchers.

“I also want to lead a school culture that is diverse, inclusive and respectful.”

Professor Bonner brings more than 25 years experience to Griffith as an academic with a strong clinical background as a registered nurse.

She is proud of attracting more than $6 million in competitive research funding and having set up the Renal Nursing Professorial Unit across Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Her background includes international recognition as a researcher focused on improving outcomes for people along the chronic kidney disease trajectory, also researching slowing disease progression, kidney replacement therapies and end-of-life care.

“I will focus on establishing an alignment between teaching, research and practice”

Professor Bonner’s research into chronic kidney disease also motivates her desire to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in healthcare increase.

“I think it is an absolute credit to Griffith for all its work on increasing First Peoples enrolments,’’ Professor Bonner said

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples while growing in number there are still too few on the frontlines of nursing and midwifery. We need to expand this workforce.

“We absolutely want to see them achieve in their undergraduate study, and then to come back to Griffith to do further study with us.”

Building links into nearby communities

Offered across three Griffith campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the School of Nursing and Midwifery also has deep links with the Logan community.

“I know from my own research as a visiting scholar at Logan and Beaudesert Hospitals that there is a real opportunity to build the capacity of nurses and midwives,” Professor Bonner added.

“My links with nurse practitioners at Logan Hospital, who are already reforming healthcare delivery, will have an active role in helping me develop a plan with local nursing and midwifery leaders to align the campus with health service needs.”

Nursing and midwifery moves online during pandemic

Professor Bonner joins the School of Nursing and Midwifery as universities move their courses online to comply with social distancing requirements.

Current Acting Head of School and Deputy (Learning and Teaching) Professor Thea van de Mortel said Nursing and Midwifery students will start their Trimester 2 classes in online mode.

“Our staff have a lot of expertise in creating engaging online learning sessions and in supporting students in online learning spaces.”

She said that many of the school’s undergraduate programs are already delivered in blended learning modes between online and on-campus study.

“Our team is supported by highly experienced educational designers to ensure students get the best learning experiences wherever they study.”

Professor van de Mortel hopes to move to on-campus teaching later in Trimester 2 particularly for critical skills education.

Charting the future for nursing and midwifery

Professor Bonner said the future of nursing practice was also changing, following a recently released national review into nurse education.

“There are many recommendations that we are yet to know,” she said.

“But when that happens there will be a fundamental shift to what we do in teaching and learning.

“To teach our nurses of the future we should use evidence that comes from research. The school I lead will focus on establishing an alignment between teaching, research and practice.”

*Shanghai Global Rankings of Academic Subjects for 2019 ranked Griffith University #1 in Australia and #4 in the world for nursing. ­­