Personal details

Dr Helen Donovan
Faculty of Health,
School - Nursing
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Nursing - HDHS
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 3719
+61 7 3138 3814
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)

PhD (Central Queensland University)

Professional memberships
and associations
* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


As an experienced university lecturer and clinician in the health disciplines of nursing and midwifery and child health, I bring both knowledge and experience to the learning environment.  I am particularly interested in professional practice in the clinical setting with a focus on transition to practice and resilience in practice for the beginning registered nurse, and how challenging health environments impact on both consumers and members of the health care profession.

This information has been contributed by Dr Helen Donovan.


I have been teaching at a tertiary level for about 15 years, and with two Masters degree in education to underpin my teaching, I have been able to develop and create environments of learning that meets the learning needs.

My PhD examined the experiences of double degree nurse midwives. As most of the participants worked across both disciplines simultaneously, it highlighted the need for these graduates (and all graduate nurses and midwives) to be resilient and to develop coping skills and strategies that effectively enabled their transition into the eclectic world of nursing and midwifery. These findings have been instrumental in my teaching and preparing nurses for real world practice and career development. As a result of the needs identified from these findings and my teaching experience, I have developed a website to assist gradaute nurses and midwives in their preparation for practice as registered health practitioners, and I have run (and continue to run) Job interview workshops for the past 6 years.

I have recently achieved a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy London award (2018) for my experience in teaching and mentoring teaching teams.

This information has been contributed by Dr Helen Donovan.


My overall philosophy of teaching is one of inclusiveness and collaboration.  The implementation of these principles facilitates a learning environment that promotes a culturally safe partnership, where all students feel equally valued and respected.   Those students who experience inclusive education, express a sense of belonging and worth and are more confident to openly share their experiences and perspectives.

It is the diversity of the shared experiences that expands the students’ own knowledge and immerses them into an environment of exploration and enquiry based learning.  To encourage students to learn through enquiry is the corner stone to being a lifelong learner.   Such a learner must feel confident in their question asking and confident that their questions are valuable and will be valued.  Working collaboratively enables the student to share knowledge and experiences and to share in the question asking.  It is this type of learning environment when experiences can be framed as building blocks to knowledge, and analysis and reflection facilities advanced reasoning and understanding.

This information has been contributed by Dr Helen Donovan.