Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt
Conjoint Senior Lecturer
School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Phone:(02) 4921 7707
In 2015 Helen moved from University of Newcastle and commenced working at Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, an internationally recognised innovator in education and research related to Dementia. Teaching into the on line Bachelor of Dementia Care which has enrollments from a diverse population ranging from qualified health care professionals through to a range of people living with Dementia (both carers and those with Dementia) Helen also has a strong research focus as the Senior Research Fellow for models of care. Current projects are focused on Residential Aged Care, innovation in care delivery and care redesign.
Helen left the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Newcastle after working there from March 2013- July 2015. She was the Director of Clinical Education and Senior Lecturer. The role had a strong focus on leadership and partnership with industry to improve both quality and quantity of clinical placements provided to undergraduate nursing students, contributing strongly to teaching, curriculum design and management of the student cohort.
Working in health care since 1983, Helen subsequently completed studies commencing with BN (Hons) and completed Doctoral Studies in 2010. Her engagement has been with health care research with a focus on action research, practice development and translation research focused on improving nursing care provided in acute and community care sectors. More recently Helen has focused on clinical placement experiences of undergraduate s, working with both undergraduates and clinical supervisors who provide support in placement.
Helen has published in the area of COPD, Dementia and paediatric care provision, and undergraduate clinical placement evaluation, working closely with care providers and nurses in practice.Research Expertise
Helen has extensive research experience in participatory action research and has worked primarily in aged care settings, community nursing and acute care areas utising the approach in order to facilitate change focused on greater alignment of practice with existing evidence. In particular Helen has experience with supporting chronic disease self management approaches by community nurses, and dementia care provision within acute care environments.
In addition Helen has high levels of experience with research in the area of clinical supervision, clinical placement and support for undergraduates in clinical placement. The approach is mulifaceted with mixed methods utilised to provide rich descriptions of the complex area. Central to any research in the area is the intention to provide information back to clinicians and tertiary providers of education drawing on action research principles to encourage and support sustainable change.
Helen currently teaches into the Bachelor of Dementia Care at Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. Previously at UoN Helen Taught into the undergraduate and post graduate areas of the Nursing program. In addition Helen has supported Honours, Masters and PhD students through their journeys of Higher Degree Education.
Helen has administration expertise on large projects, including managing grant budgets and project team organisation.
Helen will continue to collaborate strongly with UoN staff related to undergraduate nurse experiences and as part of UoN is part of the larger team led by Stephen Billett from Griffith University on an OLT grant titled: Augmenting students' learning for employability through post-practicum education processes'
- PhD (Nursing), University of Tasmania
- Bachelor of Nursing, University of Tasmania
- Bachelor of Nursing (Honours), University of Tasmania
- Action Research
- Clinical Placement
- Nursing and Midwifery
- Practice Development
- Translation Research
Fields of Research
|130209||Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy||20|
|111001||Aged Care Nursing||70|
|111003||Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)||10|
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|24/08/2015 -||Senior Research Fellow Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre||University of Tasmania
|4/03/2013 - 10/07/2015||Director of Clinical Education; Senior Lecturer School of Nursing and Midwifery||Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|1/07/2010 - 1/03/2013||Clinical Nurse Educator- Research||Department of Health and Human Services
Royal Hobart Hospital
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Chapter (2 outputs)
Levett-Jones T, Courtney-Pratt H, Govind N, 'Implementation and evaluation of the post-practicum oral clinical reasoning exam', Professional and Practice-based Learning 57-72 (2019)
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. Nurses with effective clinical reasoning skills have a positive impact on patient outcomes. For this reason it is imperative that students u... [more]
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. Nurses with effective clinical reasoning skills have a positive impact on patient outcomes. For this reason it is imperative that students understand and are able to demonstrate application of the clinical reasoning process. While clinical reasoning is often taught and assessed in preparation for clinical placements, a post-practicum assessment can help to identify if and to what extent students¿ clinical experiences influence their learning. The aim of this chapter is to provide a detailed overview of the development of a post-practicum clinical reasoning exam, guidelines for educators interested in adopting this novel approach, and results from the initial evaluation of the exam. The post-practicum clinical reasoning exam for nursing students was conducted in the following manner: Students were provided with a verbal clinical handover and the healthcare records of four patients. In the individual face-to-face oral exam that followed, students were required to describe how they would prioritise, plan and manage the care of the four patients using the clinical reasoning cycle as their organising framework. The exam was marked by a trained staff member, and immediate summative feedback was provided. On completion of the oral exam students were invited to complete a short evaluation survey with closed and open-ended questions. Quantitative data was statistically analysed and qualitative data was thematically analysed. There were 471 students enrolled in the clinical course; of these, 181 participated giving a response rate of 38%. The mean satisfaction score was 3.03 out of a maximum of 5 indicating a moderate level of satisfaction with the oral exam. Three themes emerged from qualitative analysis: ¿Better than written assessment items¿, ¿Authenticity of the approach¿ and ¿The need for better preparation¿.
Courtney-Pratt HM, 'Documenting and Reporting', Kozier and Erb's Fundamentals of Nursing. Australian edition, Pearson, Sydney 283-304 (2015) [B2]
Journal article (28 outputs)
Bruce R, Levett-Jones T, Courtney-Pratt H, 'Transfer of Learning From University-Based Simulation Experiences to Nursing Students' Future Clinical Practice: An Exploratory Study', Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 35 17-24 (2019)
© 2019 International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Background: Despite increasing use of simulation in nursing education, there is limited understanding... [more]
© 2019 International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Background: Despite increasing use of simulation in nursing education, there is limited understanding of how simulation experiences influence students' future practice. The aim of this study was to explore recently graduated registered nurses' perceptions of how their learning from undergraduate university-based simulation experiences informed their current practice and the factors that facilitated or inhibited this transfer of learning. Methods: The study used an exploratory design framed by a qualitative descriptive methodology. Six nurses who had completed 3 to 12 months of clinical practice after graduation participated in semistructured interviews which were thematically analysed. Results: The importance of accepting responsibility, interprofessional communication, leadership skills, and promoting patient safety emerged as recurring themes. Conclusions: This study provided new insights into the transfer of learning from university-based simulation experiences to students' practice after graduation. Further research with other groups of learners and larger sample sizes will be valuable in taking this work forward.
Marsh P, Courtney-Pratt H, Campbell M, 'The landscape of dementia inclusivity', HEALTH & PLACE, 52 174-179 (2018)
van der Riet P, Levett-Jones T, Courtney-Pratt H, 'Nursing students' perceptions of a collaborative clinical placement model: A qualitative descriptive study', Nurse Education in Practice, 30 42-47 (2018) [C1]
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Clinical placements are specifically designed to facilitate authentic learning opportunities and are an integral component of undergraduate nursing programs. H... [more]
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Clinical placements are specifically designed to facilitate authentic learning opportunities and are an integral component of undergraduate nursing programs. However, as academics and clinicians frequently point out, clinical placements are fraught with problems that are long-standing and multidimensional in nature. Collaborative placement models, grounded in a tripartite relationship between students, university staff and clinical partners, and designed to foster students¿ sense of belonging, have recently been implemented to address many of the challenges associated with clinical placements. In this study a qualitative descriptive design was undertaken with the aim of exploring 14 third year third year nursing students¿ perceptions of a collaborative clinical placement model undertaken in an Australian university. Students participated in audio recorded focus groups following their final clinical placement. Thematic analysis of the interview data resulted in identification of six main themes: Convenience and Camaraderie, Familiarity and Confidence, Welcomed and Wanted, Belongingness and Support, Employment, and The Need for Broader Clinical Experiences. The clinical collaborative model fostered a sense of familiarity for many of the participants and this led to belongingness, acceptance, confidence and meaningful learning experiences.
Courtney-Pratt H, Pich J, Levett-Jones T, Moxey A, ' I was yelled at, intimidated and treated unfairly : Nursing students' experiences of being bullied in clinical and academic settings', Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27 e903-e912 (2018) [C1]
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To present findings from a study that explored nursing students' experiences of bullying in clinical and academic sett... [more]
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To present findings from a study that explored nursing students' experiences of bullying in clinical and academic settings, the strategies used to negotiate bullying and recommendations for empowering future students. Background: Nursing students are identified as a group who are at particular risk of bullying. Numerous studies have examined students' experiences of bullying in clinical contexts by qualified nurses; however, there has been far less attention to the bullying that occurs in academic settings where the perpetrators are university staff and other students. Design: The qualitative findings presented in this paper form one component of a mixed-methods, multisite study that examined the nature and extent of bullying in one cohort of nursing students. Methods: A convenience sample of 29 first-, second- and third-year undergraduate nursing students from one semimetropolitan Australian university was recruited for semistructured interviews in 2014. Interview data were analysed using NVivo. Findings: Participants described multiple examples of bullying occurring in both clinical and academic settings. Perpetrators included clinicians, facilitators, academics and fellow students. Bullying ranged from incivility to physical attacks. The impact of the bullying was profound; it caused many of the participants to feel anxious and distressed, it undermined their confidence and perception of competence, and it often led them to question their career choice. Strategies described by participants to cope with or manage the bullying included avoidance, trying to ¿just survive¿ and seeking support from trusted academic staff, family and friends. No episodes of bullying were formally reported. Conclusion: Bullying remains a pervasive phenomenon occurring in both clinical and academic settings. Students are, in many respects, a vulnerable and disempowered population who often fear the consequences of making a formal complaint. Thus, reporting structures and support strategies need to be re-examined, and resilience training is imperative. Relevance to clinical practice: Bullying remains a continuing concern in undergraduate nursing degrees. Efforts must be made in clinical and academic settings to heed the advice of undergraduates using broader strategies to address the issues.
Everson N, Levett-Jones T, Pitt V, Lapkin S, Van Der Riet P, Rossiter R, et al., 'Analysis of the Empathic Concern Subscale of the Emotional Response Questionnaire in a Study Evaluating the Impact of a 3D Cultural Simulation.', International journal of nursing education scholarship, 15 (2018) [C1]
Ford K, Courtney-Pratt H, Marlow A, Cooper J, Williams D, Mason R, 'Quality clinical placements: The perspectives of undergraduate nursing students and their supervising nurses', Nurse Education Today, 37 97-102 (2016) [C1]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Clinical placement for students of nursing is a central component of tertiary nursing programs but continues to be a complex and multifaceted expe... [more]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Clinical placement for students of nursing is a central component of tertiary nursing programs but continues to be a complex and multifaceted experience for all stakeholders. Objectives: This paper presents findings from a longitudinal 3-year study across multiple sites within the Australian context investigating the quality of clinical placements. Design: A study using cross-sectional survey. Settings: Acute care, aged care and subacute health care facilities. Participants: A total of 1121 Tasmanian undergraduate nursing students and 932 supervising ward nurses. Methods: Survey data were collected at completion of practicum from participating undergraduate students and supervising ward nurses across the domains of "welcome and belonging," "competence and confidence: reflections on learning," and "support for learning." In addition, free text comments were sought to further inform understandings of what constitutes quality clinical placements. Results: Overwhelmingly quantitative data demonstrate high-quality clinical placements are provided. Analysis of free text responses indicates further attention to the intersect between the student and the supervising ward nurse is required, including the differing expectations that each holds for the other. While meaningful interpersonal interactions are pivotal for learning, these seemingly concentrated on the relationship between student and their supervisor-the patient/client was not seen to be present. Conclusions: Meaningful learning occurs within an environment that facilitates mutual respect and shared expectations. The role the patient has in student learning was not made obvious in the results and therefore requires further investigation.
Blair W, Kable A, Courtney-Pratt H, Doran E, 'Mixed method integrative review exploring nurses' recognition and response to unsafe practice', Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72 488-500 (2016) [C1]
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Aim: To determine how nurses recognize and respond to unsafe practice. Background: Practice guidelines and standards outline safe practice. Nur... [more]
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Aim: To determine how nurses recognize and respond to unsafe practice. Background: Practice guidelines and standards outline safe practice. Nurses face challenges in recognizing and responding unsafe practice. Design: Whittemore and Knafl's revised framework for integrative reviews guided the analysis. Data sources: A comprehensive search of literature exploring the identification and response to unsafe practice, was undertaken in CINAHL, Medline, Embase and PsychoINFO databases for the period 2004-2014. Review methods: Nineteen articles from 15 studies were included in the review. A mixed method integrative approach was used to review data and draw conclusions. Results: Behaviours and cues that indicate unsafe practice are influenced by organizational and individual characteristics. Individual nurses responses are variable and there are professional and personal costs associated with being reported or reporting unsafe practice. Conclusion: The small number of studies reviewed limits the conclusions that can be drawn from the review but suggest that nurses can identify unsafe practice in their peers. Individual nurses' recognition and response to unsafe practice in their peers contributes to patient outcomes and safety. Nurses need awareness training and strategies to respond to unsafe practice and reporting systems that protect reporters from repercussions. Further research investigating organizational factors and individual factors that contribute to a shift in practice across safety boundaries is required.
Courtney-Pratt H, Ford K, Marlow A, 'Evaluating, understanding and improving the quality of clinical placements for undergraduate nurses: A practice development approach.', Nurse Educ Pract, 15 512-516 (2015) [C1]
Courtney-Pratt H, Levett-Jones T, Lapkin S, Pitt V, Gilligan C, Van der Riet P, et al., 'Development and psychometric testing of the satisfaction with Cultural Simulation Experience Scale', Nurse Education in Practice, 15 530-536 (2015) [C1]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Decreasing the numbers of adverse health events experienced by people from culturally diverse backgrounds rests, in part, on the ability of education provider... [more]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Decreasing the numbers of adverse health events experienced by people from culturally diverse backgrounds rests, in part, on the ability of education providers to provide quality learning experiences that support nursing students in developing cultural competence, an essential professional attribute. This paper reports on the implementation and evaluation of an immersive 3D cultural empathy simulation. The Satisfaction with Cultural Simulation Experience Scale used in this study was adapted and validated as the first stage of this study. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were undertaken to investigate the psychometric properties of the scale using two randomly-split sub-samples. Cronbach's Alpha was used to examine internal consistency reliability. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis of mean satisfaction scores and qualitative comments to open-ended questions were analysed and coded. A purposive sample (n = 497) of second of nursing students participated in the study. The overall Cronbach's alpha for the scale was 0.95 and each subscale demonstrated high internal consistency: 0.92; 0.92; 0.72 respectively. The mean satisfaction score was 4.64 (SD 0.51) out of a maximum of 5 indicating a high level of participant satisfaction with the simulation. Three factors emerged from qualitative analysis: "Becoming culturally competent", "Learning from the debrief" and "Reflecting on practice". The cultural simulation was highly regarded by students. Psychometric testing of the Satisfaction with Cultural Simulation Experience Scale demonstrated that it is a reliable instrument. However, there is room for improvement and further testing in other contexts is therefore recommended.
Cooper J, Courtney-Pratt H, Fitzgerald M, 'Key influences identified by first year undergraduate nursing students as impacting on the quality of clinical placement: A qualitative study', Nurse Education Today, 35 1004-1008 (2015) [C1]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Despite the fact that high quality clinical placement is an integral component of pre-registration nursing education for the development of the fu... [more]
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background: Despite the fact that high quality clinical placement is an integral component of pre-registration nursing education for the development of the future nursing workforce, the literature identifies an ongoing struggle to 'get it right'. Objective: To examine qualitative data gathered through the Quality Clinical Placements Evaluation project to identify what pre-registration nursing students deemed helpful and not helpful influences on their first year Professional Experience Placement. Design: A total of 553 first year undergraduate nursing students from 2010 to 2012 were enrolled in the programme and all were invited to complete a validated survey to measure the quality of their first clinical placement. A total of 361 completed surveys were returned. This paper examines the data provided through open-ended questions within the survey related to most helpful and least helpful aspects of their clinical experience. Methods: An inductive analysis approach using NVIVO allowed inherent areas to emerge from the raw data forming three key themes that influenced the experience of students. Results: Feeling welcomed, individual versus team attitudes, and student expectations of supervising ward nurses were the themes identified that were perceived by the student as important to the success of learning and the quality of the experience overall. Conclusion: The findings echo previous research into the student experience of clinical placement; however the focus regarding the need for students to have a quality relationship with the supervising nurse is an area that warrants further exploration. Furthermore, we argue that students should be purposely engaged in the tertiary sector and provided guidance and strategies related to forming and maintaining relationships with those that supervise their clinical placement, in order to ensure consistent positive experiences. The outcomes from this study suggest that a missing component is teaching undergraduates how to manage relationships in clinical settings.
Everson N, Levett-Jones T, Lapkin S, Pitt V, van der Riet P, Rossiter R, et al., 'Measuring the impact of a 3D simulation experience on nursing students' cultural empathy using a modified version of the Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale', Journal of Clinical Nursing, (2015) [C1]
Aims and objectives: To determine the effect of immersive 3D cultural simulation on nursing students' empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Backgrou... [more]
Aims and objectives: To determine the effect of immersive 3D cultural simulation on nursing students' empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Background: Accelerated globalisation has seen a significant increase in cultural diversity in most regions of the world over the past forty years. Clinical encounters that do not acknowledge cultural factors contribute to adverse patient outcomes and health care inequities for culturally and linguistically diverse people. Cultural empathy is an antecedent to cultural competence. Thus, appropriate educational strategies are needed to enhance nursing students' cultural empathy and the capacity to deliver culturally competent care. Design: A one-group pretest, post-test design was used for this study. The simulation exposed students to an unfolding scene in a hospital ward of a developing county. Methods: A convenience sample of second-year undergraduate nursing students (n = 460) from a semi-metropolitan university in Australia were recruited for the study. Characteristics of the sample were summarised using descriptive statistics. T-tests were performed to analyse the differences between pre- and post simulation empathy scores using an eight item modified version of the Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale. Results: Students' empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients significantly improved after exposure to the 3D simulation experience. The mean scores for the Perspective Taking and Valuing Affective Empathy subscales also increased significantly postsimulation. Conclusions: The immersive 3D simulation had a positive impact on nursing students' empathy levels in regards to culturally and linguistically diverse groups. Research with other cohorts and in other contexts is required to further explore the impact of this educational approach. Relevance to clinical practice: Immersive cultural simulation experiences offer opportunities to enhance the cultural empathy of nursing students. This may in turn have a positive impact on their cultural competence and consequently the quality of care they provide to culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
Levett-Jones T, Pitt V, Courtney-Pratt H, Harbrow G, Rossiter R, 'What are the primary concerns of nursing students as they prepare for and contemplate their first clinical placement experience?', Nurse Education in Practice, 15 304-309 (2015) [C1]
Nursing students' first clinical placement experience can be a critical turning point -reinforcing professional aspirations for some, and for others, a time of emotional turb... [more]
Nursing students' first clinical placement experience can be a critical turning point -reinforcing professional aspirations for some, and for others, a time of emotional turbulence. There is a paucity of research focusing on students' perceptions and concerns prior to their first placement experience. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the concerns of first year bachelor of nursing students from one Australian university as they prepared for their first clinical placement. Participants completed an online 'readiness for practice' survey consisting of 22 items. This paper focuses on participants' responses to the one open ended question: 'Please comment on any concerns that you have in relation to being prepared for your first clinical placement'. Summative qualitative content analysis was used for analysis. 144 students (55%) responded to the open ended question. Responses were categorised into six themes including: Not prepared for placement; feeling nervous, anxious and worried; bullying and belonging; practicalities; patient safety and making mistakes; and working outside of my scope of practice. It appears that activities designed to equip students with the capacity to manage the inherent challenges of undertaking a clinical placement may sometimes have a paradoxical effect by increasing students' level of stress and anxiety. An enhanced understanding of students' concerns may help educators implement appropriate support strategies.
Ford K, Courtney-Pratt H, Fitzgerald M, 'The development and evaluation of a preceptorship program using a practice development approach', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING, 30 5-13 (2013) [C1]
|Show 25 more journal articles|
Conference (3 outputs)
Walters J, Wills K, Schuez N, Cameron-Tucker H, Courtney-Pratt H, Nelson M, et al., 'TELEPHONE HEALTH MENTORING IMPROVES SELF-MANAGEMENT CAPACITY IN COMMUNITY-RECRUITED COPD', RESPIROLOGY (2013) [E3]
Courtney-Pratt H, FitzGerald M, Ford K, Robinson A, 'People with Dementia in Hospital: A case study', 27TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE INTERNATIONAL, London, ENGLAND (2012) [E2]
Cummings E, Turner P, Walters H, Baker RW, Robinson A, Courtney-Pratt H, 'Pathways home project: Patient self-management and self-efficacy through the deployment of ICTs', 19th Bled eConference "eValues" - Conference Proceedings (2006)
This research-in-progress paper presents an examination of, and reflections on, the challenges of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support patients suffe... [more]
This research-in-progress paper presents an examination of, and reflections on, the challenges of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support patients suffering chronic respiratory conditions to achieve increased levels of selfmanagement and self-efficacy. These research insights arise as part of the planning and on-going implementation of the Pathways Home for Respiratory Illness project (Pathways). This project seeks to assist patients with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis (CF) to acquire skills that empower them to comprehend and initiate action in relation to alterations in their conditions. The overall aim of Pathways is to evaluate the impact of these newly acquired skills for improving health outcomes at individual and population levels and is due for completion in 2008. Achieving benefits from the introduction of ICTs as part of processes aimed at building sustainable self-efficacy and self-management is very difficult, not least because of a desire to avoid simply replacing patient dependency on health professionals with dependency on technology. Reflections on the challenges and experiences within the project to-date illuminate some implicit assumptions underpinning existing IS models for evaluating impact in terms of adoption, usage and benefit and the end-points we presume in our system development processes.
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||1|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20141 grants / $1,500
Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
|Funding body||University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine|
|Project Team||Doctor Helen Courtney-Pratt|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2013||PhD||The behaviours, cues and factors that nurses recognise as indications of unsafe practice and their response to recognising unsafe practice in their peers||PhD (Nursing), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|