1 December 2003

The University of Queensland has appointed two top-flight nursing educators to head up its new nursing program to be launched next year.

Elizabeth Davies will become the inaugural Professor of Nursing at UQ and will be aided by Heather Beattie as deputy who has been appointed Associate Professor.

The program, to be offered through the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, will give graduates the option of entering the workforce after two and a half years education (six semesters) – six months earlier than most undergraduate courses.

Professor Davies was the foundation head of the School of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University in Queensland, where she also acted in the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality and Outreach).

She started her nursing career in Grafton and went on to do a Bachelor of Science at Griffith University in 1977 and then a Masters of Education in 1991 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1998 from UQ

She was also the inaugural chairperson of the Queensland Nursing Council, a member of the Australian Council of Deans of Nursing and the Queensland Nurse Academic Forum and has also been a Member of the Board of Nursing Studies.

Associate Professor Beattie was the assistant head of the School of Nursing at ACU Queensland where she was heavily involved in developing curriculum.

She started her nursing career at St Andrews Hospital in Brisbane and completed a Bachelor of Nursing at ACU in 1992 and then a Master of Education at QUT in 1994 before completing her Doctor of Education at ACU in 2001.

Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean Professor Peter Brooks said the appointment of Professor Davies and Associate Professor Beattie was a great start for the new teaching program.

“I am delighted we have been able to attract the quality of people like Professor Davies and Associate Professor Beattie,” Professor Brooks said.

“It augurs extremely well to have these two heading up such an innovative program here at UQ.”

Professor Brooks said the new course had grown out of a close collaboration with Queensland Health and would help alleviate Australia’s growing nursing shortage as well as produce top-class graduates.

“The program offers a real opportunity of doing something a little different in nursing education,” he said.

“What we have aimed to do is develop a program that will hopefully create a somewhat more work-ready nurse and one who has had the opportunity of multi-professional learning during the course.

“One of the strengths of our course will be that students will have the ability to train in real multi-disciplinary environments with our established medical, dentistry, pharmacy and physiotherapy courses because so much healthcare these days is done in a team environment.”

Professor Davies and Associate Professor Beattie will take up their roles in the new year with the nursing program to begin in March.

MEDIA: For more information, please contact Professor Peter Brooks (telephone 07 3365 5106) or Andrew Dunne, UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2802).