13 August 2009: A lecturer and bioethicist in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Australian Catholic University (ACU), has become the first registered nurse and first Australian to be awarded the prestigious Edmund Pellegrino Fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
Joanne Grainger, from the Universitys Melbourne Campus, will spend June 2010 at Georgetown Universitys Clinical Centre for Bioethics under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Edmund Pellegrino and Director Dr Carol Taylor.
The Fellowship provides the opportunity for PhD students to be mentored by Professor Pellegrino on their studies, as well as contribute to their current projects in the area of clinical bioethics.
The focus of Joannes PhD research is feminist ethics and the care of people with advanced dementia in residential or aged care facilities.
I feel very honoured to have been chosen as the recipient of this Fellowship, she said. From an academic and bioethicist perspective, this is an invaluable opportunity and one that is of great significance in reputation and prestige within the international bioethics arena.
With registered nurses occupying a large proportion of the healthcare workforce, it could be argued they should also have a strong voice in the area of healthcare ethics. However this is not the case.
Recent Victorian Parliamentary conscience votes have significantly impacted Victorian nurses and suggest they are not fully engaged in healthcare ethics deliberation at a professional, clinical, social or political level.
The Georgetown University Clinical Centre for Bioethics is under the directorate of a registered nurse, Dr Carol Taylor. This Fellowship will therefore provide the unique opportunity to learn from international leaders in academia and advance the role of nurses in healthcare ethics deliberation at a local level.