Ms Jessica Williams

Ms Jessica Williams

Conjoint Lecturer

School of Nursing and Midwifery (Midwifery)

Career Summary


Jessica has an academic background within the nursing and midwifery professions, having completed a Bachelor of Nursing in 2008, a Graduate Diploma in Midwifery in 2010, and a Master of Midwifery Studies with Distinction in 2013; all through the University of Newcastle.  She has worked for the University of Newcastle since 2013, and has a decade of clinical experience as both a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife within Hunter Area Health.

Jessica has strong passions for the field of midwifery education and changes within the fields of technology that can be used to better enhance learning experiences, particularly for student midwives in a clinical setting.  The University of Newcastle is currently paving the way in innovative teaching methods within midwifery by utilising virtual reality and augmented reality equipment in its teaching and learning.  Jessica is at the forefront of exploring the use of these new technologies and their benefits to student learning.  Jessica is currently enrolled in a PhD where she is focusing on the use of a virtual reality neonatal resuscitation app being utilised with Bachelor of Midwifery students at UoN.  The research seeks to answer the question: "How does a multi-modal approach to teaching neonatal resuscitation influence confidence and stress levels in 2nd year midwifery students?" This research takes on a mixed-methods approach that will be conducted across two cohorts of students in 2018 and 2019.   Students will be allocated into a control group (with access to traditional hands-on low-fidelity neonatal resuscitation simulation) and an intervention group (with access to the same as the control group plus the addition of virtual reality headsets to take home and practice neonatal resuscitation using a specially design app by UoN). Self-reported confidence levels among students will come from pre- and post-survey measurements, and biometric stress measurements will also be obtained through specialised sensor equipment worn by the student participants when practicing neonatal resuscitation (examining heart rate, respiration rate, chest expansion and skin conductivity).  All student participants will participate in a focus group interview at the end of the study period with the goal of evaluating students' experiences of using the different modes of teaching/learning and equipment available to them for learning neonatal resuscitation. 

"What we currently know is that health practitioners who are under increased levels of stress during emergency situations are more likely to make errors in their practice, have a poorer response time in implementing appropriate treatments/interventions, and subsequently put patient safety at risk" Jessica has said.  According to the Australian and New Zealand Resuscitation Council (ANZCOR), up to 15% of babies require some form of resuscitation at birth, therefore making this one of the most common emergency situations student and registered midwives will face during their careers.  "This research is important as it will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of using virtual reality in improving student confidence, competence and access to neonatal resuscitation simulation training, while potentially demonstrating a reduction in stress markers as a result."  It is expected that results from this study may highlight the benefit of using virtual reality as an effective teaching tool when it comes to learning when combined with the standard methods of training currently being used across Australian universities.


  • Bachelor of Nursing, University of Newcastle
  • Registered Midwife, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
  • Graduate Diploma in Midwifery, University of Newcastle
  • Registered Nurse, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia


  • Babies
  • Education
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Technology
  • Virtual Reality
  • Women

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111006 Midwifery 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
14/11/2016 - 24/02/2017 Casual Academic via Distance

Experience during employment:

- Subject coordinator for postgraduate study - Graduate Diploma in Midwifery

- Familiarity with Interact2 platform, EASTS and Bridgit Conferencing Software

- Managing discussion forums online

- Assessment marking, consultation and student feedback

- Participation in staff/school meetings via teleconference

Charles Sturt University
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health
26/09/2016 - 25/11/2016 Casual Academic

Experience during employment:

- Casual academic within the Bachelor of Midwifery degree

- Involvement in course review, assessment item review, and textbook updating/revision

- Participation in on-campus workshop days for the midwifery team

- Assessment marking and student feedback

Southern Cross University
School of Health and Human Sciences
13/03/2013 - 22/01/2017 Sessional Academic

Experience during employment:

- Lecturer, tutor and educator across the Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery degrees

- Clinical labs, clinical assessments and simulation

- Course management, curriculum and course outline review, input into exam and quiz questions

- Educational workshops and mass lecture days

- Assessment marking, marking rubric review

- Involvement in 'wet lab' days for Bachelor of Midwifery students

- Staff and student meetings, mediation and altered pathways for students

- Experience with teleconferencing, Collaborate, ECHO, Blackboard and Turnitin

- Knowledge of APA referencing 6th Edition

The University of Newcastle, NSW
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
20/01/2014 - 16/01/2017 Registered Nurse / Registered Midwife

- Clinical work at Maitland Hospital

- Shifts across all main midwifery fields - Maternity Ward (primary area), Birthing Suite, Special Care Nursery, Antenatal Clinic

- Regularly allocated as the In-Charge Midwife

- Mentoring and supervising Bachelor of Midwifery students

- Providing care for gynaecology, general medical, general surgical and orthopaedic patients (women only) admitted to the Maternity Ward

- Ongoing professional development through inservices, online training courses, workshops, face to face training days

- Annual Performance reviews with the Midwifery Unit Manager

Hunter New England Area Health - Maitland Hospital
Maternity Unit



Year Award
2014 The School of Nursing and Midwifery Prize for Master of Midwifery Studies
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle


Code Course Role Duration
NURS2101 Foundations of Professional Practice 2A
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle
Tutor 6/02/2017 - 1/07/2017
NURS1101 Foundations of Professional Practice 1A
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle
Tutor 27/02/2017 - 23/06/2017
MIDI2103 Midwifery Clinical Practice 2
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle
Tutor 27/02/2017 - 23/06/2017
NURS3108 Care of the Compromised Neonate
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle
Tutor 27/02/2017 - 23/06/2017


Virtual Reality midwifery

A new world in sight: virtual reality to advance human health

May 26, 2017

Giving birth has been the foundation of the human race since the start of humanity, but the primal practice is set to benefit from groundbreaking advances in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) at the University of Newcastle (UON).

Ms Jessica Williams


Conjoint Lecturer
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Associate Lecturer
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone (02) 4985 4486
Mobile 0437111881


Room RW-225
Building Richardson Wing
Location Callaghan Campus
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308