ACU grant recipients

ACU has led several Innovation and Development Grants, funded through the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT), and been a partner institution in many others. This website provides a brief overview of some of the key projects.

Educating nurse practitioners: advanced specialty competence, clinical learning and governance (2012-2014) – Project Leader: Professor Anne Gardner (ACU)Dr Associate Professor Fiona Coyer – Queensland University of Technology, Professor Amanda Henderson – Queensland Health Metro South, Professor Anne Gardner - ACU, Professor Glenn Gardner – Queensland University of Technology, Mr Shane Lenson – ACU, Ms Helen Gosby – Australian College of Nurse Practitioners

(L-R Dr Associate Professor Fiona Coyer – Queensland University of Technology, Professor Amanda Henderson – Queensland Health Metro South, Professor Anne Gardner - ACU, Professor Glenn Gardner – Queensland University of Technology, Mr Shane Lenson – ACU, Ms Helen Gosby – Australian College of Nurse Practitioners)

The current healthcare environment is rapidly changing which calls for innovative and contemporary education responses. The number of advanced and specialist clinical practice degrees at Masters level across many health disciplines are growing. These degrees are strongly clinically focussed and learning is generally concentrated in the clinical domain or workplace.

Nurse practitioners are an innovative workforce model whose role addresses the increasing need for advanced speciality nurses as the population rapidly ages. Educational preparation for the nurse practitioner role at Masters level has had preliminary success in bridging workplace learning and academic requirements. However, many gaps remain in the governance of learning and teaching in the clinical setting where most specialty education takes place. This project explored these gaps, and aimed to:

Develop a set of nurse practitioner specialties

Inform a governance framework for learning and teaching of advanced specialty practice in the workplace

Contribute to the theoretical model of capability learning.

The project team was led by Professor Anne Gardner at ACU’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and included health professional teaching and clinical learning researchers, health services researchers, an academic with nurse practitioner experience and a nurse practitioner who is involved in the representative professional body.

The project outcomes are being taken up with the CLLEVER2 study (DP130100769, also led by Professor Anne Gardner and funded by the Australian Research Council. CLLEVER2 aims to develop a theoretically informed clinical educational model to support learning and teaching for the nurse practitioner and other advanced clinical roles.

In December 2014 the final report of the project was published on the OLT website. Research outputs and reports have been made available on theclleverstudy blog. The outcome of Phase 2 (development of metaspecialties) has been taken up by the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office Queensland for use in the Nurse Practitioner – Practice Scope Register.


Integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges in Australian social work education and practice (2011-2013) – Project Leader: Associate Professor Joanna Zubrzycki (ACU)Getting It Right Team Photo

(L-R Dr Katrina Stratton – UWA, Victoria Jones – NSW Health, Associate Professor Joanna Zubrzycki - ACU, Dr Susan Young – UW, Professor Dawn Bessarab – Curtin uni & UW, Associate Professor Sue Green – UNSW)

The aim of this project was on long term change and capacity building in social work education, through making a substantial contribution to the process of "Indigenising" Australian social work education. In 2011 the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW), the professional accrediting body for Australian social work education, released new national educational guidelines aimed at increasing curriculum content in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work education. However, the guidelines only indicated what values, knowledge and skills need to be taught to students, not how this material might be taught and developed. The Project aimed to address the ‘how’ by developing learning and teaching strategies to assist the 26 Australian Schools Social Work to integrate the guidelines into the curriculum.

The project team, led by ACU social work academic, Associate Professor Joanna Zubrzycki, comprised leading Aboriginal and non-Indigenous social work academics and practitioners: Associate Professor Sue Green, UNSW, Professor Dawn Bessarab, Curtin University, Dr Susan Young, UWA, Dr Katrina Stratton, UWA and Victoria Jones, NSW Health. An 11 member predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group provided further guidance to the project team.

In February 2014 the eminent Aboriginal social worker, Dr Tom Calma launched thekey project outcome the "Getting it Right Creating Partnerships for Change. Integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges in social work education and practice Teaching and Learning Framework”(PDF File, 1.7 MB). The Framework is the first Australian evidence-based, theoretically-underpinned resource about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work education. It provides educators with comprehensive guidance about all aspects of the teaching and learning process, advocating horizontal and vertical integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing in all social work degrees.