Professor McKenna began her nurse training in 1983 at the Central Gippsland Hospital in Traralgon (since closed).
“When I was training as a nurse, research wasn't something we talked about. It was something that evolved in nursing over the last 20 years,” Professor McKenna said.
“Research wasn't even a word in nursing back then. Hospital training was very vocational system. And early academia for nursing was very vocational, it took a long time to develop that research knowledge base.
“So to get to this point, it's really satisfying to think that I've actually been able to make such a big impact,” Professor McKenna said.
Professor McKenna’s research areas include nursing education, nursing workforce, midwifery care and nursing care.
In her career she’s also mentored many junior researchers, supervised 25 PhD candidates, written a textbook in nursing research, and, for the last nine years been the editor-in-chief of Collegian, the professional journal for the Australian College of Nursing.
Professor McKenna also works with nursing researchers in Indonesia. She said she studied the language through high school and maintained her interest in the country before working with some Indonesian Masters students in Melbourne.
“They turned into PhD students down the track. I kept in contact with them, they're now senior academics. Now that I'm known in Indonesia, I get called to do all sorts of things, even outside of nursing,” Professor McKenna said.
“It's lovely to be recognized for the different contributions that I've made to nursing and I'm hoping over the time I've been able to make a change to do research that's had an influence.”
In 2022 there are 32 nursing researchers being inducted into the International Nursing Research Hall of Fame, including Professor McKenna. Five are Australian.
The awards will commence 5:15 PM AEST, 25 July 2022 (8:15 AM Edinburgh local time)
Administered by Sigma, the full list of inductees to the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame is available here.
Professor Lisa McKenna Online Profiles
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