QUT: Where exceptional nursing education meets gerontology research and practice

QUT gerontology academics recognised for outstanding contributions in the field of gerontology and nursing education, receiving Distinguished Educator award.

QUT academics recognised for excellence

The National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) is an international organisation committed to optimising health and quality of life of older adults. A core part of NHCGNE’s advocacy is encouraging the development of gerontological research and specialised nursing education.

In 2020 three of QUT’s gerontology academics – Margaret MacAndrew, Christina Parker and Linda Schnitker – were added to the list of NHCGNE’s list of Distinguished Educators in Gerontology, recognised for their phenomenal contribution to research and education.

Advancing the field of Gerontology: research, education and practice

Gerontology research has a vital role to play in the delivery of high-quality aged care, particularly in the way it informs specialised nursing education and aged care best practice.

Both Dr MacAndrew and Associate Professor Parker have undertaken extensive research into fields of gerontology – dementia support and wound care respectively – that have a direct impact on specialised nursing practice and aged care.

“Our research focus of caring for the older person, particularly in the fields of dementia and wound care, has provided crucial information where a lack of evidence exists, and will provide much needed information to guide clinical care practice.”

The link between gerontology research and clinical care practices is a close one, as is the work that Margaret, Christina and Linda do every day, helping future nurses become skilled practitioners in meeting the specialised care needs of older people.

Teaching excellence paramount in nursing education

If one thing in particular defines the academic work of Dr MacAndrew, Associate Professor Parker and Dr Linda Schnitker for QUT, it is the prioritisation of a person-centred and interdisciplinary approach to care of the older person – an approach absolutely essential to both health care professional education and best practice.

“Nursing excellence means taking every opportunity to practice evidence based care with compassion, recognising when you need to enlist the expertise of others, and being flexible enough to grow and learn.   We have a passion for wanting to make a difference in the education of health professionals and striving to make care of the older person the best it can be.”

Evidence-based care practices are crucial, which is why each of the Distinguished Educator award recipients emphasise the importance of looking beyond the books, and being open to consulting widely in the field and with interdisciplinary health professionals.

Contribution to the design of QUT Online’s Gerontology Course Suite

QUT Online’s Master of Gerontology is an online course that takes a person-centred and interdisciplinary approach to gerontology, while foregrounding the mutually-beneficial connections between gerontology research, nursing training and leadership, and care of the aged in the real world.

The course itself has been co-designed with dedicated academics – including Dr MacAndrew and Associate Professor Parker – ensuring that the developing, evidence-based gerontology theory is closely tied with best practice, and that the next generation of health care professionals have the opportunity to discover a rewarding career in gerontology, with the ability to provide specialised care for older Australians.

Commence study with QUT Online today. The Master of Gerontology will help you build fundamental skills in aged care best practice, challenging you to extend your leadership ability, and the insights of Gerontology research in caring for older Australians.

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