The award, conferred during a ceremony in Brisbane last night, recognises outstanding contributions to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in higher education by members of tertiary education institutions and industry partners.

The Deakin University Partners in Nursing and Midwifery Research Network is a unique university-health services partnership focussed on improving the quality and safety of health care.

BHERT CEO Dr Peter Binks said the judging panel was impressed by the scale and longevity of the partnership and found the commitment to research translation exemplary.

“The network’s significant reach has established a critical feedback loop that ensures the implementation of research findings into clinical practice and the continued development of the workforce,” Dr Binks said.

In accepting the award, Deakin’s Acting Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health Professor Maxine Duke said it was a fantastic recognition of the deep commitment to nursing and midwifery research from Deakin and its industry partners.

The partnership network was established in 1996 with Epworth Health, and has since expanded to include five other Victorian health services working alongside the teaching and research teams at Deakin’s Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research and its School of Nursing and Midwifery.

“No other nursing network in the world has the same ability to translate their research with this level of immediacy and scalability,” Professor Duke said.

“This partnership gives our world-class nursing and midwifery academics the ability to use the evidence and expertise they’ve built to positively influence the care of over three million Victorians annually in 29 hospitals and 11 residential aged care facilities, as well as impacting the practice of more than 30,000 nurses and midwives.

“Through this network, industry has co-funded multiple research positions for nurses and midwives and clinical training opportunities for students, resulting in considerable benefit for all through research, research training and translation of evidence to practice.

“In a unique feedback loop, our partners contribute to Deakin’s curricula through membership of Deakin advisory boards, ensuring the University prepares nurses and midwives with the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to meet industry workforce expectations.

“The partnership has even attracted the attention of clinicians and researchers internationally wanting to emulate its success.”

The BHERT Awards, first launched in 1997, are Australia’s longest-running and highest-profile recognition of outstanding partnerships with universities.