Emeritus professor recalls rich academic life at CQU

27 January 2022

Former expert critical care nurse and research-intensive academic Professor Trudy Dwyer was recently recognized with the title of Emeritus Professor at a graduation ceremony at CQUniversity Bundaberg.

Before her retirement from the University in 2020' Professor Dwyer had spent 30 years contributing to the learning journey of thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate students and steering research programs for the betterment of nursing and patient safety in Australia.

As part of her valued role at CQUniversity' Professor Dwyer had supervised 16 Research Higher Degree candidates' attracted over $4.5 million in competitive research funding' published over 80 academic documents' numerous book chapters and texts' and played pivotal roles in the development of programs that were adopted nationally and internationally.

Notably' she is the developer of programs including the Early Detection of Deterioration in the Elderly (EDDIE)' the Research Ready Grant Program (RRGP) and the Tag Team Patient Safety Simulation.

She has a long publication track record with over 80 documents listed in Scopus' numerous book chapters and 10 texts (two are in their fifth edition).

With over 200 000 texts sold' the nursing texts have received national awards and international recognition and been adopted as the prescribed text by half of the Australian universities that deliver nursing programs.

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Professor Dwyer was recently named as one of 21 CQUniversity leading academics recognised in a new global ranking and listed in the top two per cent most-cited researchers of 2020.

To meet the international market' two of the books in the Student Survival Guide series have been translated into other languages.

Her work is amongst some of the most cited publications worldwide and has directly influenced the education of nurses nationally and internationally.

At the time of her departure from the University in 2020' Professor Dwyer was the Deputy Dean of Research' Visiting Research Fellow with Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and Fellow of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.

It has been a very rewarding nursing career for Professor Dwyer who initially set out to become an architect.

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"I always wanted to be an architect' but architecture wasn't offered in Rockhampton' so I applied and was accepted to become what I saw as the next best thing' which was civil engineering at the CIAE (now CQUniversity)'" Professor Dwyer explained.

"However' all my mates got into nursing and the draw of moving into the nurse's quarters and a job that paid seemed more appealing."

She applied and within a week found herself sitting in front of Matron West being interviewed and was accepted into nursing.

Forty-plus years and several different hats later (see photo)' turns out this snap decision was a good one.

Reflecting on her time as an academic at CQUniversity she said it was a job that provided so many opportunities.

"While I had been rattling around the Rockhampton campus for 30 years' it is a job that I have always enjoyed' found challenging and provided me with so many opportunities."

Professor Dwyer will continue to stay connected to the University as an Emeritus Professor now' providing valued insight and a wealth of knowledge to the University's nursing school for years to come.

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