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Student nurses help create online resource for nursing professionals

Student nurses help create online resource for nursing professionals

Published:11 May 2018

The digital narrative will be used to build self-efficacy and commitment in tomorrow's nursing professionals.

Nursing professionals now have access to an online digital narrative which depicts the story of an Australian nursing hero, as part of a university-first research project.

Stage one of the 'Everyday Nursing Heroes' project, funded by the CQUni Research Centre's Regional Advance in Learning, Equity, Access and Participation (LEAP) grant, aims to build self-efficacy and commitment in tomorrow's nursing professionals.

The digital narrative uses the compelling story of Nurse Ellen Savage (1912-1985), who survived the sinking of the Centaur during World War 2 and tended to wounded soldiers, despite enduring serious injuries herself.

The science of heroism used throughout the digital narrative aims to encourage viewers to imagine themselves acting heroically in everyday situations, and in return, enhance their effectiveness as leaders and bringing about positive change.

The completion of stage one of the project puts an end to four months of tireless work conducted by the project's multidisciplinary team.

Team member and past Centaur Memorial scholarship recipient, CQUni Professor Margaret McAllister, said although the development stage was lengthy, the finished product proved worth it.

"After convening a lecture in late 2017, facilitated by Matt Langdon, an expert in heroism training, the team invested many hours of research into the story of Nurse Savage," she said.

"From there, CQUni Alumnus Irene Waters wrote a short biography of 300 words before Digital Media Lecturer James Picton digitally illustrated the story.

"The team then sought the expertise of nursing historian Dr Madonna Grehan to proof the material before it was published and distributed."

Margaret said the team tested the effectiveness of the digital narrative at the CQUni Noosa ANZAC Day event.

"Due to the project's research nature, it was imperative for the team to test whether the digital narrative had the ability to achieve its intended purpose," she said.

"The team will now use the findings to help source and secure additional funding, in order to create a library of digital narratives for the first phase of an Immersive Resilience Training experience."

Margaret admitted the team already had two nursing heroes in mind for the pending future digital narratives.

"These include Helene Donnelly, a nurse based in the United Kingdom who refused to be a bystander to the substandard care and staffing failings that led to the deaths of hundreds of people in Mid Staffordshire," she said.

"And, Alex Wubbel, an American Burns Nurse who protected the rights of an unconscious patient, despite being assaulted and arrested by an intrusive Utah police officer."

Margaret also added that during the digital narrative process, she mentored two LEAP rising star scholarship recipients in the undergraduate nursing program.

"Kathleen MacDonald and Jessica De Zylva were highly involved throughout the process and thus, were guided to complete a literature review which argued the importance of encouraging everyday heroism in the nursing profession," she said.

"Their hard work has since led to the publication of a journal article in the prestigious United Kingdom nursing journal, Nurse Education Today."

Journal author and third-year nursing student Kathleen McDonald said she was pleased to hear the journal article was set for publication.

"Professor McAllister said it would take up to four months to hear back from the publishers, however, to our surprise, the submission approval came through much quicker than that," she said.

"The news made the many hours spent reading information, searching databases and compiling relevant information all worth it.

"The experience has taught me how to write a literature review and provided me with the opportunity to work with Margaret McAllister, a highly respected professor."

Secondary journal author and first-year nursing student Jessica De Zylva expressed her excitement and appreciation for her involvement in stage one of the project.

"I enjoy participating in as many learning opportunities as I can, so when I heard about the Everyday Nursing Hero project, I had to be involved," she said.

"Kathleen and I worked well as a team, dividing the writing process of the literature review and constantly communicating about any new findings.

"The opportunity gave me a greater appreciation for all the hard work academics put in to have their journal articles published.

"I have learnt so much about academic research, writing and referencing which has helped me to become a more confident writer.

"I look forward to welcoming any further opportunities provided by Professor McAllister and the Everyday Nursing Hero project team."