Nursing student co-leads HealthyU research

Published in the November 2016 issue

Third-year Bachelor of Nursing student Katrina Horne has been hand-chosen as an Australian College of Nursing Emerging Nurse Leader and invited to share her experience at the Queensland South Region network in December.

Carmen Morgan and Katrina Horne

Katrina Horne (right) receives her award into the Australian College of Nurses Emerging Nurse Leader Program with the then-President of ACN Carmen Morgan. 

Katrina’s leadership skills were acknowledged when she was selected as one of five pre-registration nursing students nationally into the prestigious Emerging Nurse Leader (ENL) program for three years of personal and professional development.

The Southern Cross University student, who graduates in December, said she was chosen by a panel of nurses for the position in last year’s intake. When she presents at next month’s network, Katrina will share information about the HealthyU project at Southern Cross University.

“My unit assessor Associate Professor Marie Hutchinson recommended me for the Emerging Nurse Leader program and it was a lengthy selection process with a panel interview over the phone asking about my demonstrated community involvement, leadership skills, high achievement and vision for the future,” she said.

“I spoke about my role with UniMentor, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and being a school host and was really thrilled to make the cut for the program, as it’s such a coup for the university.

“It’s an amazing program and I’ve already benefited so much from being involved. I had mentoring this year from a fellow of ACN, we took part in 360-degree leadership training, getting involved in communities of interest and have also started a leadership capability workbook where we mark our progress and set goals for ongoing development.”

Katrina says her appetite for research was ignited during her undergraduate degree and this interest led to an invitation to join the HealthyU team alongside Dr Jonathan Munro, Dr Ann Mulder and Ms Kirsty Howton, as a methodologist and co-researcher.

“HealthyU was instigated by the Head of the University’s School of Health and Human Sciences Professor Iain Graham and has its roots embedded in the highly successful United Kingdom model ‘Healthy Universities’,” she said.

“Southern Cross University already has many strategies in place to support staff and student health and I have been involved with the planning and implementation of a cross-sectional study to evaluate their health and the use of health and support services.  We then further enriched this data through extensive multi-site interviews to determine student support needs.”

Katrina said the findings will inform the University of the potential need for future health and support initiatives, and demonstrated its commitment to a Healthy University using a collaborative approach.

“Through this opportunity I was able to further develop my skills in research in a way that enables me to give back to the University community that I have been a part of over the time of my nursing degree, with an incredible team who shares the pillars of health with our community,” she said.

The survey was undertaken through Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program  funding; a collaboration of the Student Engagement and Retention Team, Equity and Diversity Office, SCU Health Clinic and HR Services, with 501 students and 263 staff participating.

Dr Ann Mulder, HealthyU project coordinator said development of the Healthy University concept began 30 years ago with the development of the ‘healthy settings’ approach to health and wellbeing by the World Health Organisation.

Dr Mulder said Southern Cross University was a member of the Australian Health Promoting Universities Network established earlier this year.  “Katrina is an exemplary student and a success story of how students can work collaboratively with the University to engage in professional development alongside their degree.

“She has applied her knowledge gained in the course on a professional project which is of great gain to the University. She has value-added her degree immeasurably, created valuable networks and has been chosen as an emerging nurse leader in the community.”

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  1. Kelli Cahill says:

    Congratulations Katrina, fantastic representation of yourself and SCU.