Professor Rhonda Wilson
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Mental Health Nursing Scientist with a research focus on digital health
Prof Rhonda Wilson RN CMHN PhD is Professor in Nursing at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She returned to Australia in 2019 (working as Associate Professor of Nursing at University of Canberra) after living and working in Denmark (University of Southern Denmark) where she was Associate Professor of E Mental Health and Head of Research for the Telepsychiatric Centre in a regional psychiatric hospital service area.
Rhonda has published extensively in international journals, book chapters and conference papers. She is a Registered Nurse in Australia, and a Credentialled Mental Health Nurse, currently serving on the Australian Nurses and Midwives Registered Nurse Course Accreditation Committee and the Accreditation and Education Committee for the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. She has previously worked as a clinical nurse, researcher and academic in Australia in various roles over the last 30 years; the past 12 years as a mental health educator for student nurses and other health professions, as well as supervising higher degree research students.
She is a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing which is the highest impact mental health nursing journal in the world https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14470349
In 2018 her co-edited text book was awarded best Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource – Blended Learning at the 2018 National Educational Publishing Awards. This is a prestigious educational publishing award that demonstrates our innovation in transforming learning materials and integrating traditional print and digital learning designs that interface with virtual learning platforms frequently used by Australian and New Zealand universities. Our blended learning model integrates work integrated learning and includes student, consumer and clinician narratives in such a way that the student can engage with the learning material from a range of perspectives. This textbook is the first nursing textbook that Cambridge University Press has published, and so achieving an award of this type in the second edition of the book is recognised as a significant achievement. Proctor, N., Hamer, H., McGarry, D., Wilson, R. L., & Froggatt, T. (Editors) (2014) Second Edition (2017) Third Edition in prep (2021). Mental Health: A person-centred approach. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Through her work as a mental health clinician and as a researcher, Rhonda has specialised in the mental health care of hard to reach populations in regional and rural communities, and particularly with young people. Her main interests are in developing evidence-based precision digital therapeutics aimed at enhancing recovery.
The main theme for her research is developing and sustaining a Technology Enhanced Mental Health Lab. This involves a number of research projects working on various aspect of digital health research with a focus on technology that enhances person-centred recovery. There are several themes, but most are focused on clinical relevancy and ensuring a strong contribution to a future evidence base to support quality and safe development, trial and implementation of digital health interventions, together with enhancing the workforce development to incorporate digital technology to improve health and well-being, and recovery for people with health needs. She is interested to include research students (Masters research and PhD candidates) with topics that deal with information and self-help, quality and safety, early identification and early interventions, acute health matters through to complex and chronic conditions across the lifespan.
Rhonda is experienced with the use and supervision of a variety of research theories, paradigms and methods and software. A selected list follows: Qualitative and Mixed Methods; Case Study (Yin); Phenomenology; Social Ecology; Ethnography; Observational; Useability and Feasibility; Prototype development and testing; Time Series Analysis; Indigenous Research Methods (Storywork); Narrative; Survey; Ricoeurs Interpretative Methods; Digital methods and recruitment; Integrative and Scoping Review; Nvivo.
As an Aboriginal person herself, she is personally interested in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and International Indigenous and First Nations peoples’ health and well-being. She is especially interested to encourage the scholarship and research of other Indigenous people.
Rhonda is available to supervise higher degree research students.
More about her work can be found on these social media channels:
Twitter: @RhondaWilsonMHN https://twitter.com/RhondaWilsonMHN
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of New England
- English (Mother)
- Danish (Working)
Fields of Research
|111005||Mental Health Nursing||100|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Professor||University of Newcastle
School of Nursing and Midwifery
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|28/10/2016 - 28/6/2019||Associate Professor in E Mental Health and Research Director||University of Southern Denmark
|4/2/2019 - 8/4/2020||Associate Professor of Nursing||University of Canberra
Department of Nursing
|2/3/2020 -||Professor (Affiliate)||SYNERGY Nursing & Midwifery Research Centre (University of Canberra & ACT Health)
|1/1/2020 -||Professor of Nursing||Massey University
|1/3/2017 -||Adjunct Associate Professor||The University of New England
|1/1/2015 - 30/11/2015||Indigenous Academic Advisor||The University of New England
|1/1/2008 - 30/1/2017||Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing||The University of New England
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (4 outputs)
|2017||Mental Health: A Person-centred approach, Cambridge University Press, UK (2017)|
|2017||Mental Health: A Person-centred approach, Cambridge University Press, UK (2017)|
|2016||Bloomfield J, Pegram A, Wilson R, Pearson A, Procter N, McGuiness B, et al., Clinical Nursing Skills An Australian Perspective, Cambridge University Press (2016)|
|Show 1 more book|
Chapter (8 outputs)
|2019||Hansen JP, Wilson R, 'Digital Clinical Decision Making in Nursing', Clinical Nursing, FADL Publishers, Copenhagen 255-271 (2019)|
|2017||Wilson R, 'Rural and regional mental health', Mental health, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic (2017)|
|2017||Wilson R, Bristow S, Wilson S, 'Elimination', Clinical Nursing Skills, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic (2017)|
|Show 5 more chapters|
Journal article (37 outputs)
|2020||Wilson R, Cronin C, Marcussen J, ' Explore, Build and Connect : A person-centred learning framework for nursing and mental health topics within the flipped classroom.', NURSE EDUCATION TODAY, (2020)|
Marcussen J, Thuen F, O'Connor M, Wilson RL, Hounsgaard L, 'Double bereavement, mental health consequences and support needs of children and young adults When a divorced parent dies', Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29 1238-1253 (2020) [C1]
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To explore how children and young adults from divorced families experience double bereavement when they lose a divorced par... [more]
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To explore how children and young adults from divorced families experience double bereavement when they lose a divorced parent with cancer and how the double bereavement influences their mental health consequences and need of support. Background: Children and young people who are confronted with the cancer and death of a parent is a highly stressful life event, which is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems, especially when children experience divorced parental cancer and death. Design: Participant observations and interviews with a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach and COREQ standards for reporting qualitative research. Methods: We conducted 340¿hr of participant observations within nine different support groups totalling 27 children and young adults from divorced families and included 28 interviews with participants and relatives. Analyses are based on Ricoeur's theory of interpretation: naïve reading, structural analysis, interpretation and discussion. Results: The experiences with double bereavement identified three main themes: 1. navigating through multiple transitions and disruptions within two family worlds; 2. consequences for mental health including stress overload and disruptions to well-being; and 3. need for accessible support derived from close relationships and professionals within and in-between family worlds. Conclusion: Children and young adult's double bereavement includes multiple transitions and disruptions often related to stress overload and mental health problems. Support from close relationships and professionals is experienced as helpful in the prevention and mitigation of mental health problems. Relevance to clinical practice: There is a need for targeted accessible support availability to children, young adults and their families when a divorced parent is dying of cancer in clinical practice. Our findings suggest that specific health policies for health professionals should be developed to target improved support for these families.
|2020||Cronin C, Hungerford C, Wilson R, 'Menopause and digital health in the workplace: A discussion paper', Collegian, (2020)|
|2020||Fisker Christensen L, Wilson R, Hansen JP, Thuroe Nielsen C, Alkier Gildberg F, 'A qualitative study of patients and providers experiences with the use of videoconferences by older adults with depression', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, (2020)|
Marcussen J, Hounsgaard L, O'Connor M, Moller S, Wilson R, Thuen F, 'Parental death in young adults with divorced compared to non-divorced parents: The effect on prolonged grief and mental health', DEATH STUDIES, (2019)
Wilson RL, 'The right way for nurses to prescribe, administer and critique digital therapies', CONTEMPORARY NURSE, 54 543-545 (2018)
Jensen AM, Pedersen BD, Olsen RB, Wilson RL, Hounsgaard L, ' If only they could understand me! Acute hospital care experiences of patients with Alzheimer s disease', Dementia, (2018)
© The Author(s) 2018. Patients with dementia as co-morbidity find hospital stays challenging, because the focus is primarily on the somatic cause for the admission, with less emph... [more]
© The Author(s) 2018. Patients with dementia as co-morbidity find hospital stays challenging, because the focus is primarily on the somatic cause for the admission, with less emphasis on the needs pertaining to dementia-related support and care. This results in poorer holistic outcomes, compared to patients without dementia, and an increased cost for the healthcare sector and, society as a whole. The quest is to make hospitals a dementia-friendly context, because this is likely to lead to better patient outcomes for people with dementia generally; however, further research is required to understand where gains may be made in this regard. This study conducted participant observation research strategies to follow patient journeys with Alzheimer¿s disease admitted to orthopaedic wards, to learn about their experiences as patients. Longitudinal data were gathered by following patients on both day and evening shifts within a specialist orthopaedic hospital ward, commencing at patient admission and concluding at time of discharge. The data were interpreted from a phenomenological-hermeneutic perspective, inspired by Ricoeur¿s interpretation theory. The study revealed a communication style among nurses who failed to take into account the comprehensive needs of patients with dementia, in terms of timely information exchange and clinical relevance. Patients expressed the desire to be more fully engaged in the care decision-making, together with indicating their appreciation of the work of the health professionals who cared for them. The data revealed that the process of getting to know the patient at the beginning of every shift left little room to alleviate patients¿ experienced distress, caused by being in hospital. This resulted in patients who were less involved in the caring situation, or, if a patient took the initiative to act, intentions ended up being misinterpreted as disruptive behaviour. The findings have relevance for staff and ward management who are interested to strive to enhance the patient journey as a dementia-friendly hospital.
Wilson RL, Usher K, 'Social media as a recruitment strategy: Using Twitter to explore young people's mental health', Nurse Researcher, 25 36-41 (2017)
© 2017 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Background The development of a recruitment strategy requires nurse researchers to consider the avenues available to them t... [more]
© 2017 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Background The development of a recruitment strategy requires nurse researchers to consider the avenues available to them to fully investigate a phenomenon. In many cases, this will mean that they invite members of the public to be participants in their research. Successfully advertising the research project to potential participants requires a targeted approach, so that the participants will contribute to a data set that is sufficiently representative and analysis will elicit answers to the research questions. Societal changes in communication patterns and in media consumption have led to a downturn in traditional forms of media, such as television, radio and printed newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Increasingly, the public is using social media instead of traditional media. This change has implications for the design of research and researchers will have to adapt their recruitment strategies to include social media, if they are to collect representative rich data that can be analysed and reliably inform the findings of research. Aim To discuss the importance of rigorous research designs and to provide an example of a study that demonstrates how mental health researchers, investigating help and support for young people's mental health, can adapt their traditional recruitment practices and applied this new knowledge to recruitment using social media. Discussion A carefully designed social media recruitment process was particularly useful in attracting informative participant respondents who were able to provide meaningful and rich data relevant when responding to particular research questions. Engineering the participant user experience, such as using a minimum number of keyboard clicks to enter the online survey, mitigated the risk of drop out or incomplete responses. Conclusion Recruitment to a research study requires a strategy that matches the dynamics of the communication media used by potential participants. Nurse researchers need to be adept in the use of social media applied to health research contexts to ensure that data sets obtain representative samples and to reveal trustworthy, reliable, dependable and valid evidence to support clinical research and practice. Implications for practice The general popularity of social media has led to the public expectation that health information, and in some cases treatment, will be available online. Such a change in communication dynamics in recent times requires that nurse researchers develop new researcher skills and expertise in the proficient use of social media for the purpose of ethical recruitment of participants to health research projects.
Alharbi J, Wilson R, Woods C, Usher K, 'The factors influencing burnout and job satisfaction among critical care nurses: a study of Saudi critical care nurses', JOURNAL OF NURSING MANAGEMENT, 24 708-717 (2016)
|2016||Wilson RL, 'An Aboriginal perspective on 'Closing the Gap' from the rural front line', RURAL AND REMOTE HEALTH, 16 (2016)|
Wilson R, Hungerford C, 'Mental Health Education and Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in Pre-registration Nursing Degrees: Follow the Leaders?', ISSUES IN MENTAL HEALTH NURSING, 36 379-387 (2015)
Wilson RL, Usher K, 'Rural nurses: a convenient co-location strategy for the rural mental health care of young people', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, 24 2638-2648 (2015)
Wilson RL, Wilson GG, Usher K, 'Rural Mental Health Ecology: A Framework for Engaging with Mental Health Social Capital in Rural Communities', ECOHEALTH, 12 412-420 (2015)
Ranse J, Hutton A, Wilson R, Usher K, 'Leadership Opportunities for Mental Health Nurses in the Field of Disaster Preparation, Response, and Recovery', ISSUES IN MENTAL HEALTH NURSING, 36 391-394 (2015)
Happell B, Wilson R, McNamara P, 'Undergraduate mental health nursing education in Australia: More than Mental Health First Aid', COLLEGIAN, 22 433-438 (2015)
Wilson RL, 'Mental Health Recovery and Quilting: Evaluation of a Grass-Roots Project in a Small, Rural, Australian Christian Church', ISSUES IN MENTAL HEALTH NURSING, 35 292-298 (2014)
Wilson R, Ranse J, Cashin A, McNamar P, 'Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant', COLLEGIAN, 21 111-119 (2014)
Ranse J, Hutton A, Jeeawody B, Wilson R, 'What Are the Research Needs for the Field of Disaster Nursing? An International Delphi Study', Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, (2014) [C1]
Background: Internationally there is an increasing amount of peer-reviewed literature pertaining to disaster nursing. The literature includes personal anecdotes, reflections, and ... [more]
Background: Internationally there is an increasing amount of peer-reviewed literature pertaining to disaster nursing. The literature includes personal anecdotes, reflections, and accounts of single case studies. Furthermore, issues such as the willingness of nurses to assist in disasters, the role of nurses in disasters, leadership, competencies, and educational preparedness for nurses have been the focus of the literature. Aim: The aim of this research was to determine the international research priorities for disaster nursing. Method: This research used a three-round Delphi technique. The first round used a face-to-face workshop to generate research statements with nursing members of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM). The second and third rounds included the ranking of statements on a 5-point Likert scale with nursing members of WADEM and the World Society of Disaster Nursing (WSDN). Statements that achieved a mean of four or greater were considered a priority and progressed. Results: Participants were from multiple countries. Research statements were generated in the areas of: education, training, and curriculum; psychosocial; strategy, relationship, and networking; and clinical practice. Psychosocial aspects of disaster nursing ranked the highest, with five statements appearing in the top ten research areas, followed by statements relating to: education, training, and curriculum; clinical practice; and finally, strategy, relationship, and networking. Conclusions: Future disaster nursing research should focus on the area of psychosocial aspects of disaster nursing, in particular, both the psychosocial needs of a disaster-affected community and the psychosocial wellbeing of nurses who assist in disaster health activities. Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2014.
Usher K, Woods C, Casella E, Glass N, Wilson R, Mayner L, et al., 'Australian health professions student use of social media', Collegian, 21 95-101 (2014) [C1]
Increased bandwidth, broadband network availability and improved functionality have enhanced the accessibility and attractiveness of social media. The use of the Internet by highe... [more]
Increased bandwidth, broadband network availability and improved functionality have enhanced the accessibility and attractiveness of social media. The use of the Internet by higher education students has markedly increased. Social media are already used widely across the health sector but little is currently known of the use of social media by health profession students in Australia. A cross-sectional study was undertaken to explore health profession students' use of social media and their media preferences for sourcing information. An electronic survey was made available to health profession students at ten participating universities across most Australian states and territories. Respondents were 637 first year students and 451 final year students. The results for first and final year health profession students indicate that online media is the preferred source of information with only 20% of students nominating traditional peer-reviewed journals as a preferred information source. In addition, the results indicate that Facebook® usage was high among all students while use of other types of social media such as Twitter® remains comparatively low.As health profession students engage regularly with social media, and this use is likely to grow rather than diminish, educational institutions are challenged to consider the use of social media as a validated platform for learning and teaching. © 2014 Australian College of Nursing Ltd.
Paliadelis PS, Stupans I, Parker V, Piper D, Gillan P, Lea J, et al., 'The development and evaluation of online stories to enhance clinical learning experiences across health professions in rural Australia', Collegian, (2014) [C1]
Clinical placement learning experiences are integral to all health and medical curricula as a means of integrating theory into practice and preparing graduates to deliver safe, hi... [more]
Clinical placement learning experiences are integral to all health and medical curricula as a means of integrating theory into practice and preparing graduates to deliver safe, high-quality care to health consumers. A growing challenge for education providers is to access sufficient clinical placements with experienced supervisors who are skilled at maximising learning opportunities for students. This paper reports on the development and evaluation of an innovative online learning program aimed at enhancing student and clinical supervisors' preparedness for effective workplace-based learning. The evidence-based learning program used 'story-telling' as the learning framework. The stories, which were supported by a range of resources, aimed to engage the learners in understanding student and supervisor responsibilities, as well as the expectations and competencies needed to support effective learning in the clinical environment. Evaluation of this program by the learners and stakeholders clearly indicated that they felt authentically 'connected' with the characters in the stories and developed insights that suggested effective learning had occurred.
|Show 34 more journal articles|
Conference (51 outputs)
|2019||Marcussen J, Thuen F, Hounsgaard L, Wilson R, 'Integrated care for double bereavement associated with parental cancer and death in divorced families', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2019)|
|2019||Wilson R, Marcussen J, Hounsgaard L, Thoude F, 'Parental cancer and death in divorced families Double bereavement and interventions targeted the related child´s and young adult´s mental health', Sheffield, UK (2019)|
|2019||Wilson R, 'Acute hospital care experiences of patients with Alzheimer s disease', The Hague, Netherlands (2019)|
|2018||Wilson R, 'Bring your own (BYO) wearable or smartphone technology to mental health care', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2018)|
|2017||Wilson R, Faerch C, Helweg-Jorgensen S, Hensen JP, Hinze C, Holmberg T, et al., 'E mental health research and practice in Denmark', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2017)|
|2016||Wilson R, 'Indigenous experiences of mental health care and detention: A qualitative rural youth mental health research synthesis', EARLY INTERVENTION IN PSYCHIATRY (2016)|
|2016||Wilson R, Paul D, Kwan P, Billingsley W, Shaw A, 'MetaMood Phase Two: The software engineering of an Android app for a mental health e-health intervention using a novel gaming strategy', EARLY INTERVENTION IN PSYCHIATRY (2016)|
|2014||Wilson R, Usher K, 'Mental health professional visitors in rural communities: What happens when they go back home?', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2014)|
|2014||Wilson R, Usher K, 'A co-location model for nurses helping young rural people with emergent mental health problems', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2014)|
|2014||Wilson R, 'Nurses helping young rural people with emergent mental health problems', EARLY INTERVENTION IN PSYCHIATRY (2014)|
|2013||Happell B, Wilson R, McNamara P, 'Beyond bandaids: Defending the depth and detail of mental health in nursing education', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2013)|
|2013||Wilson R, ''I was about to explode': The experience of young rural people with emergent mental health problems', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2013)|
|2013||Wilson R, 'A conversation to build mental health rural recovery capital in a church setting: A story about a patchwork quilt, a young person and a mental health nurse (poster)', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2013)|
|2013||Wilson R, 'Twitter: A contemporary nursing conversation tool (poster)', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH NURSING (2013)|
|Show 48 more conferences|
Other (1 outputs)
|2014||Wilson R, 'Bush Remedies: You and your mental health 2014', (2014) [O1]|
Report (6 outputs)
Wilson R, Little F, O'Brien A, Gray M, Finn A, 'Hunter & Central Coast ICTN. Scoping novel rural mental health clinical
placements for undergraduate nursing and social work students in Northern NSW. Final Report: 20th November 2015', Australian Government. Department of Health, 32 (2015)
|2010||The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Wilson R, 'Addressing the needs of siblings of children with chronic conditions. Report from the roundtable discussion 27 August 2010', The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (2010)|
|2008||Wilson R, 'Early psychosis project. Hunter New England Northern. Final report', Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Hunter New England Area Heath, NSW Health (2008)|
|Show 3 more reports|
Thesis / Dissertation (2 outputs)
|2014||Wilson R, Connecting mental health helping capital in rural communities to young people with emergent and early mental health problems, University of New England, Armidale (2014)|
|2009||Wilson R, Barriers to the early identification and intervention of early psychosis among young rural males, University of New England, Armidale (2009)|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||1|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20201 grants / $28,333
Study to Assess the Value of an Integrated Workforce Approach to Mental Health Care in Rural and Remote Towns$28,333
Funding body: Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
|Funding body||Mental Health Commission of New South Wales|
|Project Team||Professor Nicholas Goodwin, Professor Rhonda Wilson, Mr Lee Ridoutt, Professor Susan Nancarrow|
|Scheme||Request for Tender|
|Type Of Funding||C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other|
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2020||PhD||Cultural Safety for Paediatric Patients and Families in the Emergency Department||PhD (Nursing), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
Professor Rhonda Wilson
Central Coast Campus
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Medicine
|Building||Faculty of Health and Medicine Building|