Francis Donnelly

Associate Professor Francis Donnelly

Dean of Nursing

Adelaide Nursing School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Associate Professor Frank Donnelly began his nursing career at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after graduation from the University of South Australia (Salisbury). After a stint in neurosurgical nursing Frank moved to work in Intensive Care, where he spent the majority of his clinical life. After completing post graduate qualifications in ICU a shift in direction saw him move into nursing education, particularly clinical education. Further study and completion of a Master of Nursing, with a thesis examining the lived experience of a tracheostomy tube change, led Frank toward a PhD, a study which combined his primary interest in nursing knowledge and the role of clinical placement experiences. Frank is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

In 2019 Frank was awarded The Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence, the University of Adelaide’s premier learning and teaching award. This award recognises the University’s highest achievers in teaching, support of teaching, and supervisory practices.

Frank is Dean and Head of School of Nursing, Adelaide Nursing School.

As well as advocating for teaching excellence, Frank conducts and supervises research in nursing education, inter-professional learning and clinical innovation.

Associate Professor Frank Donnelly RN, BNurs, MNurs, Grad Dip (ICU), Grad Cert Higher Ed, PhD SFHEA

Versatilist PodCast Use of 360 Video and Affective Learning

Frank has a mainly qualitative research background however has supervised students from a broad range of research methods and methodologies. His own research interests include:

  • clinical outcomes
  • education and staff development
  • education theory 
  • how approaches to education inform health care outcomes
  • how technology influences education 

Current research activity includes:

  • Advocating the place for bravery in TPPP curriculum 
  • Learning outcomes associated with 360-video 
  • The benefits of field activity on student learning
  • Understanding the role of microbiome and dementia in residential aged care facilities (interprofessional activity)
  • Examining the academy: scholarship and expertise in teaching


  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Teaching Award Stephen Cole the Elder - Excellence in Leadership, Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice The University of Adelaide Australia $8000
    2019 Fellowship Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy Higher Education Academy United Kingdom -
    2018 Award Executive Deans Award for Learning and Teaching (Level C and above) 2018 The University of Adelaide Australia -
    2013 Award High Commendation for Excellence in University Teaching - Faculty of Health Science The University of Adelaide Australia -
    2009 Award Lecturer of the Year - The University of Adelaide (2009) Unijobs The University of Adelaide Australia -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2014 The University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2002 The University of Adelaide Australia Master of Nursing Science
    1997 University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing
    1994 University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Nursing
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2014 - 2014 Diploma of Management Proteus Leadership Australia
  • Research Interests

2017 - Learning and Teaching Grant $2500 Use of 360 video in VR


2016 – ‘Through the looking glass’ Using virtual reality to construct a pre theatre orientation experience, Learning and Teaching Grant, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide $5000


2016 – iCAN – Establishing Interprofessional networks with The University of Alberta Canada, Partnership Priority Grant, The University of Adelaide $5000


2008 - Project Leader - Mental Health Curriculum Development in Pre-registration Nursing Degrees – Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging $20017 


2008 – Implementation of an electronic audience response system to enhance student learning through direct formative and summative learning. –Team submission with David Foley (Project Leader)  $10000


2007 - Making research skill development explicit in coursework: Four universities' adaptation of a model to numerous disciplines. Carrick (ALTC) Competitive grant $215,488 – Team submission with Dr John Willison (Project Leader)


2001 – Provision of an integrated computer training and video skills program for the development of competency in advanced life support for post graduate nursing students. IT Matching Funds – The University of Adelaide  $19810 – Team submission with Mr John Field (Project Leader)

Leadership and Management in Nursing 

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Principal Supervisor Attitudes and Perception of Difficulties and Facilitators of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Implementation Among Saudi Staff Nurses Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nader Eqaab D Alotaibi
    2019 Principal Supervisor Designing efficient and safe spaces for perioperative patient care. How do perioperative nurses contribute to perioperative environment planning and design. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Kasey Irwin
    2018 Principal Supervisor Factors influencing nursing preceptors' role in Saudi Arabia: A Mixed methods study Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Aishah Shaher B Al Harbi
    2017 Co-Supervisor Consent to treatment in acute care health settings: clinical practice and patient autonomy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Patricia Carlisle
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Factors Influencing Nurses’ Intention to Work in the Oncology Specialty: A Mixed-Method Study in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Omar Awadh M Qaladi
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor When a patient's family member is a nurse: a portfolio of research Doctor of Nursing Doctorate Full Time Mr Hussamaldeen Mohammed M Sabyani
    2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor What is the Influence of Clinical Experience on the Nursing Student's Understanding of Patient Centered Care? Master of Clinical Science Master Part Time Mrs Jan Alderman
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2019 - ongoing Member AARE - Australian Association Research in Education Australia
    2017 - ongoing Member HERDSA Australia
  • Position: Dean of Nursing
  • Phone: 83133639
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 3
  • Org Unit: Nursing

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