The Midwifery Research Group is lead by Dr Virginia Skinner who has worked as a Research Project Officer for Associate Professor Martin Veysey for the previous five years on two studies, one assessing cardiovascular health in an elderly population and the other assessing the relationship between bitter taste, folate intake and the development of bowel polyps before commencing work at the University of Newcastle.

Research methodological expertise

Virginia's Masters in Nursing with Honours was a qualitative study, focusing on continuity of care for mothers by community midwives and her PhD was a quantitative study, in which she developed a tool to assess stress and burnout in Australian nurses and midwives and the tool is currently being used internationally to assess other populations.

Recent studies include:

  • Identifying women at risk of premature birth
  • Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of Birth Centres
  • The Relationship Between Birth Environment and Birth Outcomes
  • Factors Affecting Woman's Embodied Sense of Self During Childbearing
  • Factors that Enhance Women's Energy Levels After Birth
  • Midwifery Intervention aimed at Enhancing Wellbeing in Women who are Smokers at the Beginning of Pregnancy
  • Enhancing Inter-professional Collaboration
  • Maternal Mortality in Rural PNG: A qualitative study

We have particular expertise with critical, feminist and post structural methodologies. Drawing upon expertise within the Faculty of Health and the Research Centre for Mothers and Babies we also embrace logical-empirical, quantitative methodologies.

Lead: Dr Virginia Skinner

Virginia has been working in the School of Nursing and Midwifery since May 2010 and is presently convening the Masters of Midwifery. Virginia has worked as a registered nurse for 23 years and has worked predominantly as a midwife for the past 21 years. She spent the early part of her career working in surgical and oncology. Over the years she has worked in aged care and in more recent years has worked as a community nurse. As a midwife she has worked in all areas of maternity including birthing suite, special care nursery and postnatal areas.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.