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Committed to developing transformative health care practice and knowledge, Adelaide Nursing School can help you advance through valuable interdisciplinary research and/or postgraduate degrees.

Nursing students with elderly patient

Core research programs

At Adelaide Nursing School you have the opportunity to take part in five core research programs. These are: Knowledge Translation; the Centre for Evidence-based Practice South Australia; Fundamentals of Care; Healthy Ageing; and Professional Practice.

All programs are required to meet certain essential criteria. They must:

  • generate impactful research that will build the school's international reputation
  • use a systematic approach to understanding the research area’s concepts
  • include partnerships within the University, state and Australia, as well as internationally
  • demonstrate a successful grant and publication track record
  • have clear leadership from within Adelaide Nursing School.

1. Knowledge Translation

This program is focused on advancing the science of knowledge translation in health care. This includes studying the methods, processes and roles used to facilitate the translation and implementation of research evidence into health care decision-making and practice at a clinical, organisational and health-system level.

Current program project areas include:

  • synthesising best practice
  • examining the evidence-practice gap
  • implementation of evidence into clinical practice
  • disinvestment and de-implementation.

The Knowledge Translation program is led by Professor Gill Harvey.

2. Centre for Evidence-based Practice South Australia (CEPSA)

A collaborating centre of the Joanna Briggs Institute, the CEPSA aims to improve health care in South Australia through: knowledge synthesis of research relevant to contemporary health care practices; and knowledge translation activities in collaboration with our industry partners.

Current program project areas include:

  • knowledge synthesis
  • knowledge translation
  • training and teaching.

The program is led by Dr Rick Wiechula.

Download the Centre for Evidence-based Practice South Australia brochure

3. Fundamentals of Care

The Fundamentals of Care research and development program is an international, multi-pronged program investigating how the fundamentals of care are delivered to patients within health systems.

It consists of four streams:

  1. an exploration of the ontological and epistemological basis of the knowledge and terminology used to define and describe nursing activity around patients’ fundamental care needs
  2. the Cochrane Nursing Care Field’s Fundamentals of Care node, concerned with tagging systematic reviews according to fundamentals of care
  3. patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of the fundamentals of care, and how they’re delivered
  4. development and testing of interventions to improve the delivery of fundamentals of care.

Current program project areas include:

  • defining nurses' delivery of the fundamentals of care
  • systematic experiences and review, and improving delivery of the fundamentals of care.

These streams of work involve international research collaborations, facilitated through the International Learning Collaborative (ILC). The ILC is a member-based organisation headquartered in the Adelaide Nursing School, and closely affiliated with Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Its members include international academics, clinicians and leaders, all dedicated to transforming the delivery of care in high-tech environments, and elevating the standard of fundamentals of care globally.

4. Healthy Ageing

This research program is focused on advancing knowledge around the promotion and maintenance of health in our ageing population to keep people actively engaged in their community/workplace.

The program includes primary research and systematic reviews of interventions, strategies and approaches that promote and maintain quality of life in our ageing health workforce, and our ageing population generally.

Current program project areas include:

  • frailty
  • ageing and living well
  • nutrition for older adults.

Download the Healthy Ageing brochure

5. Professional Practice

This program has a focus on the contemporary role of the nurse, nursing workforce and nursing at the interface with the health care system and in interdisciplinary teams.

Current program project areas include:

  • resilience of nursing students
  • health and workforce resilience
  • early discharge after elective caesarean section
  • occupational health and safety of nursing students.

The program is led by Dr Lynette Cusack in collaboration with Professor Kristine Gebbie from Flinders University.

Download the Professional Practice brochure

How to get started in research

If you want to challenge yourself and potentially pursue a career in research, but aren’t sure where to start, consider applying for our Honours Degree of Bachelor of Nursing.

The honours program enables you to research an area of personal interest, and develop the skills required for postgraduate study at a higher level (see below). You’ll undertake a research project, prepare a report for publication, and—in the process—acquire a potential point of difference in the eyes of employers. Find out more about applying for honours within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Postgraduate Nursing research degrees

Master of Clinical Science

The Master of Clinical Science can be completed as a 100% research degree, or a combination of research and coursework. To undertake this degree, you’ll need to be a clinician with at least two years’ experience, and an interest in conducting high-quality, clinically-focused research.

Download the Master of Clinical Science brochure

Doctor of Nursing

The Doctor of Nursing is a professional research degree, designed for experienced registered nurses. If applying, you should be highly motivated to become a research-active practitioner and, ultimately, a clinical and professional leader. You’ll find the program particularly suitable if you’re currently a charge nurse, unit director, clinical nurse specialist, advanced practitioner or nurse consultant.

The Doctor of Nursing comprises three years’ full-time (or equivalent part-time) research in an area of your personal interest, and the presentation of this research as a thesis. You’ll be required to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge through research.

Download the Doctor of Nursing brochure

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the basic qualification for a research career or academic position. You don’t need to be a registered nurse to undertake the PhD, but you must have studied a relevant bachelor’s degree with at least a second-class honours (upper division) or relevant master’s degree containing a significant research component.

Through the PhD you will develop the capacity to conduct independent, original research and make a significant original contribution to knowledge in nursing. It involves two to four years of research full-time (or part-time equivalent).

Download the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) brochure

Ready to take the next step?

You’ll find full admission requirements for each of these degrees in the University’s Graduate Centre Academic Program Rules.

Then, to apply for one of our higher degrees by research, visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre. If you have any queries, contact