FROM a macho teenager who initially thumbed his nose at nursing, Clint Moloney has come a long way – he is now an associate professor in the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Recently appointed to the academic position at USQ Fraser Coast, Associate Professor Moloney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in evidence-based nursing research, thoracic oncology practices and assistive technologies.
The USQ alumnus said accepting the position in Hervey Bay offered him the opportunity to take on new challenges as an academic and coordinator for the local campus’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.
“I’ve come from Toowoomba for this great opportunity, although I do have a history of visiting USQ Fraser Coast at least three times a year so I’m already familiar with the staff and campus,” Associate Professor Moloney said.
The father of four children aged from eight to 19 years is actively involved in research.
“My research background hinges on ensuring nurses are evidence-based with their practice, and understanding what enables nurses to more actively engage with research,” he said.
“Because of that most of my Post Graduate studies, Masters and PhD have been around research implementation, looking at the factors that drive the adoption of research evidence into practice, particularly in nursing and the health profession in general.
“I’m keen to build research cultures and capacity on the Fraser Coast, not just within USQ but also with our health partners to engage in more research and build bigger platforms for evidence.
“My other key passion is assistive technologies in healthcare. That is, looking at technologies that link to the education of healthcare professionals, for example ‘How can we remotely learn and decrease the amount of time we spend off the ward to learn?’
“I’ve started to look at remote access to laboratories within USQ. One of my PhD students has just finished one of the concepts I was generating, which is an emulated IV pump for students to access online and use for case studies.”
Associate Professor Moloney has also begun research initiatives that look at validating the number of hours students need to be on clinical practice as well as new methods to better engage those students to give them more targeted, structured outcomes.
“I am passionate about making a difference for nursing students nationally. In some of my future research endeavours I foresee going into the space of making sure we’re teaching the right curriculum so students graduate as more level-headed nurses ready to take on the world.”
Associate Professor Moloney’s academic achievements and visions are worlds apart from the aspirations of the macho teenager who got into nursing by chance.
“I was very macho type of teenager and only had nursing on my QTAC as a non-serious and last option. I left it there because I already had what I wanted – engineering and medicine – at the top.
“But I didn’t get the Tertiary Entrance (TE) score I needed for engineering or medicine. My father said: ‘No son of mine is doing nursing!’ so I deferred uni and found a 12-month manager traineeship at a local department store.
“I didn’t even think about uni again until a mate died in a car accident. That threw me. I had people coming into the store with broken microwaves and washing machines and I thought there’s more to life than broken appliances, so I enrolled in nursing at USQ.
“My intention was to get enrolled, do that for a semester then transfer into what I wanted, which was engineering at the time.
“But I met my wife Samantha, who is a nurse, and got some experience on clinical and started to realise nursing was bigger and better than what I had visualised and stuck with it.
“I graduated, got into oncology and became a chemotherapy nurse for about five years, and then got into management.
“The research started when I went to a thoracic oncology conference where I was one nurse out of 500 medical officers presenting. I looked at the crowd and thought ‘Why aren’t we as a profession engaging in research?’
Photo: Associate Professor Clint Moloney was recently appointed at USQ Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay.