students in nursing simulation clinic

Leading the future of nursing education

6 May 2024
A proud history of educating nursing and midwifery leaders
We recognise the crucial role nurses play in the day-to-day health of our country, and the leadership roles they undertake to advance the profession.

The University of Sydney Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery is ranked the best university in Australia for studying nursing – and the 14th best in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024).

But this is only part of the equation as to why our graduates obtain exceptional knowledge and skills for career longevity.

“Our students acquire invaluable experience through direct engagement with experts at the top of their professional and academic fields,” says Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of School and Dean of the Susan Wakil School of Nursing (also known as Sydney Nursing School).

Sydney Nursing School students are educated in an environment that has a global mindset, with a commitment to excellence in education, research and leadership.

“Our students learn from academic staff who are engaged in contemporary healthcare services and are at the forefront of shaping the local, national and international healthcare landscape,” reflects Professor McCormack.

Immersed in specialised simulation facilities located at the Camperdown Campus, the Susan Wakil Health Building, and Westmead Campus, Sydney Nursing School provides students with a first class clinical and simulation experience.

They graduate work ready, with the ability to adapt to rapidly changing healthcare contexts in Australia and around the world.

Professor McCormack’s vision is to not only educate the next nursing and healthcare workforce, but to also educate a workforce that provides global leadership in health and wellbeing.

We are committed to engaging with our community partners, our students, our colleagues, and with the big thinkers of our time to consider what it means to be a global citizen and make a difference for individuals, community and society.
Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of School and Dean of the Susan Wakil School of Nursing

Producing big thinkers

One of those big thinkers is Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu who completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2012.

Dr Tuipulotu was working as a nurse in Sydney when she decided she could make a difference in her home country, the Kingdom of Tonga, by undertaking further study.

With support from Sydney Nursing School’s Professor Donna Waters, Professor Emerita Mary Chiarella and Professor Emerita Jill White, Dr Tuipulotu’s work informed the development of Tongan National Professional Standards for Registered Nurses.

Dr Tuipulotu also worked towards the ascension of the Nurse, Nurse Practitioners and Midwives Act (2021) with the support of Professors White and Chiarella.

“Sydney Nursing School has a long tradition of influencing nursing and midwifery policy and strategy locally, regionally and globally,” says Professor McCormack, when contemplating the contributions and support made by academic staff to advancing nursing practice in Tonga.

Dr Tuipulotu is now Chief Nursing Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a recent presentation for Sydney Nursing School’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Dr Tuipulotu reflected on her journey towards becoming the Chief Nursing Officer at WHO, recognising the crucial role the University of Sydney has played in helping her to shape global health policies and strategies.

In Tonga it's very important that your work speaks loudly. With the support of the University of Sydney, I have tried my best to implement and deliver work, to speak less, and deliver much more.
Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu, Chief Nursing Officer at the World Health Organization and Sydney Nursing School graduate

Dr Tuipulotu also spoke about the World Health Organization’s Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery (SDNM) 2021–2025 resolution.

The resolution calls on Member States to strengthen nursing and midwifery through four policy focus areas: education, jobs, leadership, and service delivery.

For Dr Tuipulotu, education is key.

“Nursing and midwifery graduates need to match or surpass heath system demand," says Dr Tuipulotu.

"They need to have the requisite knowledge, competencies and attitudes to meet national health policy priorities.” 

Education is key

Dr Tuipulotu is a high-profile success story from Sydney Nursing School.

But there are so many nursing graduates and nutrition and dietetics graduates from Sydney Nursing School who do amazing things every day for the betterment of society.

“Our graduates stand at the pinnacle of nursing and healthcare," says Professor McCormack.

"The reason for this is twofold: Our courses are tailored to meet the evolving demands of the healthcare sector, and our students learn from leading academics, clinicians, and researchers, who are dynamically shaping the forefront of evolving expertise.

“Added to this, our alumni form a community that embodies a profound dedication and enthusiasm for nursing and healthcare.”

Professor McCormack notes that graduates from Sydney Nursing School all share the attributes of letting their work speak loudly, as discussed by Dr Tuipulotu.

“Every day, our graduates go to work armed with a skill set that enables them to make a difference to people’s health and wellbeing," says Professor McCormack.

"They deliver day after day, letting their work speak for itself.”

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