Dr Suzana Sukovic

Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning (HEPJ) was launched on 8 May last year. Nearly a year old, the journal is finding its own feet. Our editorial team is very pleased to present our first anniversary gift to HEPJ readers, authors and reviewers – the refreshed website. We would also like to share some good news marking the journal’s growth during its first year.

eJournal refresh

HEPJ is an electronic, open access publication so its online appearance is critically important. In the last few weeks, we were working on refreshing the site to create a better user experience. We are now proud to announce the improved website with a better structure, new functionality, including citation and easier sharing on social media, in addition to a fresher look. Improved analytics will give us a fine-tuned insight into online engagement with the journal.

Anyone who has worked with systems like OJS (Open Journal Systems) knows that these improvements aren’t a small feat. I was fortunate to work with a very capable team: Jamaica Eisner (Editorial Assistant), Zoë Barber (Designer) and Gary Browne (Web Developer) all contributed to the site overhaul creating a better user experience.

Engagement with HEPJ

Speaking of users, HEPJ is a niche publication, but it has managed to find its audience. Some recent statistics indicate solid engagement with our academic and professional communities. Below is a snapshot of statistics gathered a week ago.

Publishing policies and procedures

HEPJ is the first scholarly and professional journal published at NSW Health, so there was no precedent for our work. The editorial team has collaborated with the Editorial Board and HETI as the publisher to establish key publishing documents. During our first year, we have prepared the HEPJ Handbook with policies and high-end procedures, and the operational manual, both shared on HETI’s intranet. Policies and procedures relevant to our external audience have been published on the HEPJ website. We hope that these documents will not only help in providing a solid foundation for the journal, but also help NSW Health staff who may consider a similar endeavour.

Goodbye from the Editor

I have worked on the journal development over the last couple of years and took a great pleasure in being its first editor. As I am leaving HETI, it is time to pass on the torch. The next issue is in the capable hands of David Schmidt in the role of Journal Manager and Jamaica Eisner in the role of Editorial Assistant. I wish them and the new editor all the best in developing the journal further. I will remain its committed reader.

Happy anniversery, HEPJ!

James Brinton, Bernadette Burgess, Vanathy David, Melissa Glass, Lynda Horning

Lynda Horning, Denise Edgar, Melissa Glass, and Vani David

Pictured: Lynda Horning, Denise Edgar, Melissa Glass, and Vani David (left to right)

Our story of researching the ‘Education pathways, mentoring and future intentions of nurse and midwifery consultants in a NSW Health District’, began with a small but noteworthy step. We joined a research interest group conducted by the then, Nursing Development Unit, where each month a different research topic was discussed. After about a year, we felt confident that we could undertake a small research project. Coming from various backgrounds: oncology, haematology, surgery, and aged care, our first challenge was to find a research project that appealed to our varied interests. Between us, there was one common theme. We were all Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNCs).

We understood our own individual roles, but we knew very little else about each other’s roles or the role of other Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNCs)/Clinical Midwifery Consultants (CMCs) in our service. As a result, we settled on the broad topic of succession planning for CNCs/CMCs roles. Previously, the CNC/CMC Network Group; a group of Nurse and Midwifery Consultants that met regularly to discuss professional issues, had raised succession planning as an issue for discussion and some focused work. We had wondered how we could help the network group and wanted our results to be meaningful to them.

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By Dr Suzana Sukovic, Director Research, HETI

Ehealth capabilities article - photo of a young man using a smartphone with e-health across his shirtWith technology embedded in every aspect of healthcare, it is essential that the workforce have digital capabilities to deliver contemporary health services. It is also important that new graduates come to the workplace with digital skills they can apply in their practice. The fast development of eHealth, however, has created an environment in which the differences in digital capabilities between experienced professionals and students in training are becoming blurry. The adage that we are all lifelong learners certainly holds true in digital health.

NSW Health and the University of Sydney recognised a need to provide opportunities to students and health staff alike to develop their ehealth capabilities. Representatives from both institutions worked together to develop shared learning resources as part of a comprehensive Digital Health Curriculum for NSW Health.

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Call for papers for Volume 2 Issue 1 of the Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning


Submissions for the next issue (Vol. 2 Iss 1) are due by 7 April 2019

For further submission details, to subscribe or to register your interest as a reviewer, visit the journal website.

Contact: Editorial Team, HETI-HEP@health.nsw.gov.au


The Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning (HEPJ) is starting off 2019 by calling all interested authors to submit papers for the Volume 2 Issue 1 of the journal. After launching in 2018 and publishing two issues, available online, the journal is proud to have a variety of articles on research and evaluation related to health education in practice from academics and professionals.

HEPJ publishes results of research into and evaluation of practice-based education of the workforce in health, including discussions of theoretical issues related to health education. It aims to:

  • Enhance education and training of the workforce by sharing best available evidence from practice-based and academic research
  • Contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly in health
  • Foster communication and connections between communities of practice with similar interests
  • Promote innovation in health education and communication of findings.

Papers rely on the efforts of reviewers to ensure high quality and are published in two streams:

  1. The Research and Evaluation stream (scholarly) is submitted for double-blind peer review
  2. Education-in-practice stream (professional) is submitted for single-blind peer review.

Articles are published online as they are accepted for publication and bound in two issues a year. Check our Author Guidelines for more detail.

HETI has joined the ranks of research publishers with the first issue of HETI’s eJournal, Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning, available online. With a variety of papers written by academics and professionals, it is a thought-provoking read for anyone interested in health education. Along with being launched by Elizabeth Koff, at the Health Education in Practice Symposium in May, the eJournal is off to a great start.

We’d like to continue this momentum with the second issue, as submissions are now open. Papers submitted to the journal are published in two streams, Education-in-practice (professional stream) and Research and Evaluation (scholarly stream).

  • Education-in-practice papers are shorter (500-2000 words long). News about education in practice, reports on work in progress, reflective pieces and reviews are all suitable for this stream.
  • Research and Evaluation are scholarly articles, 4000-7000 words in length. They are published after double-blind peer review.

The due date for submissions for the second issue is 27 August 2018. Check our Author Guidelines for more detail or contact our editorial team.

This blog post is based on the paper ‘Pain education for clinicians in geriatrics: a study into changes in clinician attitudes and beliefspublished in Vol 1, No 1 of the Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning,  by Audrey P Wang, Georgia Fisher, Jillian Hall. The full article can be found on the eJournal website.


Left to right: Dr. Audrey P Wang from Australian Catholic University and War Memorial Hospital, Waverley with Jill Hall from War Memorial Hospital.

Left to right:
Dr. Audrey P Wang from Australian Catholic University and War Memorial Hospital, Waverley with Jill Hall from War Memorial Hospital.

Georgia Fisher, PhD Candidate, University of Technology Sydney and Physiotherapist War Memorial Hospital & Dr. Audrey P Wang, Lecturer, Australian Catholic University and War Memorial Hospital

It’s that time of the fortnight again. You leave the ward, and follow the footsteps of your colleagues to a dim room lit only by the soft glow of the projection of a PowerPoint on the screen. It’s just before lunch and your stomach is rumbling, turning your mind to the food in your bag, instead of here. Looking around, even your manager seems to be in the same boat as you. Yes, it is time for the in-service.

While it’s easy to joke about them, the humble in-service is the main form of professional development in the public health system. Commonly, the topic piques interest, stimulates discussion, and the consensus is to implement it. But what happens when the lights come up and we leave the room?

All too often I have left stimulating presentations excited with a sense of vigour to implement it in practice. But then I get three new urgent assessments. Or I am paged to cover another ward for a colleague off sick. All of a sudden, the old way seems to be far better.

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Prof Peter Goodyear, The University of Sydney

MSc IT & Learning Team, Lancaster University, 1989-90 From the left: Alison Sedgwick, Peter Goodyear, Christine Smith, Robin Johnson

MSc IT & Learning Team, Lancaster University, 1989-90
From the left: Alison Sedgwick, Peter Goodyear, Christine Smith, Robin Johnson

In the late 80s and early 90s I was course director for the MSc in IT and Learning at Lancaster University in the UK. In its first few years, the MSc ITL was for unemployed graduates who wanted to work in the emerging e-learning industry. It was a blended learning program: one of the first Master’s courses to make online discussion a core educational activity. When we launched the course in 1989, the terminology for much of what we were doing had not been invented and the technology itself was very rudimentary. No-one spoke of ‘e-learning’ or ‘blended learning’; the World Wide Web was still in Tim Berners-Lee’s lab at CERN; there was no broadband. To participate in online discussion, each of our students had to make a dial-up connection to the university’s mainframe computer. At best, they would get a data transfer rate of 300 bits per second; at worst, they would make 20 or 30 failed calls to the mainframe’s one modem before giving up for the night. Yes, only one student at a time could be connected, so none of our interactions were in real time. (I learned to like teaching asynchronously. It gives you plenty of time to think and look things up.)

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Dr Kylie Murphy, Charles Sturt University

Dr Kylie Murphy, Charles Sturt University

Dr Kylie Murphy, Charles Sturt University

Evidence-based practice (EBP) in healthcare is still far from widespread and routine. The level of engagement in EBP that proponents called for back in the days of the ‘Sicily statement on evidence-based practice’ (Dawes et al., 2005) still seems a way off.

There is more work to be done, but my co-authors and I are relishing the challenge. We are thrilled to have our recent study on undergraduate EBP education published in the inaugural issue of the Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning.

Our study surveyed over 200 students, from across 20 undergraduate healthcare courses at Charles Sturt University. We asked them about the contexts in which they could recall looking at research evidence and learning EBP skills, and how they feel about EBP and its role in their profession.

We believe our findings are important for informing future efforts to better prepare health graduates for EBP. Our research points to an ‘elephant in the room’ that deserves more attention.

But first, what is EBP?

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Dr Suzana Sukovic

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been two weeks since the Health Education in Practice Symposium. This event dedicated to research into education of the health workforce was the first of its kind for the NSW Health. The Symposium Committee wanted to create opportunities for clinicians and educators; academics and professionals; experienced researchers and novices, from different disciplines, to network and exchange ideas about education. As much as we believed in our goals, it still came as a bit of a surprise to see how much these conversations have been needed and appreciated.

The audience listens to the diverse line-up of speakers who presented at the Health Education in Practice Symposium 2018

The audience listens to the diverse line-up of speakers who presented at the Health Education in Practice Symposium 2018


During the symposium, we marked a significant milestone – the launch of the Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning. Ms Elizabeth Koff, Secretary of NSW Health, launched the journal describing it as a ‘significant milestone in the HETI journey and a stepping stone in NSW health education’. The first issue scopes our territory – from theoretical reflections to practice-based research papers and reports on current news. With authors such as Professor Peter Goodyear from the Faculty of Education and Professor Tim Shaw from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, Dr Kylie Murphy and co-authors from Charles Sturt University, Dr Audrey Wang from the War Memorial Hospital with co-authors from universities, the scholarly papers in the first issue open the space for inter-disciplinary conversations.

Ms Elizabeth Koff, Secretary NSW Health (middle) with Adjunct Prof Annette Solman, HETI’s CE (right) & Dr Suzana Sukovic, editor-in-chief (left)

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Health Education in Practice Symposium: keynote and launch speakers. Ms Elizabeth Koff, Professor Pip Pattison, Professor Shirley Alexander

The Health Education in Practice Symposium is proud to announce a line-up of prominent speakers. Join us to hear from Ms Elizabeth Koff, Secretary, NSW Health who will launch HETI’s journal, Health education in practice: journal of research for professional learning, and keynote addresses from Professor Phillipa Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Sydney, and Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education and Students) at the University of Technology, Sydney.

You will also hear from invited speakers, Professor Tim Shaw, Director of Research in Implementation Science and eHealth at the University of Sydney, and Adjunct Professor Annette Solman, Chief Executive, Health Education and Training Institute. Conjoint Associate Professor Amanda Walker will be the symposium MC. Check our Speakers page for their biographical details.

You still have time to register your attendance and submit an abstract on the symposium website.