Wendy Chaboyer lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, where she currently serves as the Principal Investigator and Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing Interventions for Hospitalized Patients. It is the first nursing center of research excellence funded by the NHMRC, the Australian equivalent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her center focuses on conducting systematic reviews, high quality clinical research focusing on skin integrity and symptom management and developing broad collaborations with which to disseminate their work. Naturally, the center creates the perfect environment for fostering valuable mentorships among the next generation of clinical nurse researchers. Wendy finds the work rewarding and enjoys great support from her membership in Sigma Theta Tau International.
“As a nurse whose primary focus has been on research and research mentorship for the past 15 years, STTI has provided me with the opportunities to develop networks with other like-minded nurses, both internationally and closer to home,” says Chaboyer.
And ‘home’ itself is international for Wendy. “I undertook my initial nursing RN training and then later my ICU certificate at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Canada,” she explains. “I worked clinically in Canada, first in an acute medical ward and then ICU, both in Winnipeg and Grande Prairie, Alberta. I undertook both my post-RN BSc in Nursing and my MN at University of Alberta. In the mid-90’s when health departments started laying off nurses, I moved to Australia, and to the university sector, where I coordinated the first Masters of Critical Care Nursing in the state of Queensland, while completing my PhD.”
Chaboyer’s membership in STTI began in 1992 while a graduate student at the University of Alberta. Professors there were just beginning the Mu Sigma Chapter, and made a great effort to ensure students became involved in the process. She found STTI offered great exposure to the wider nursing community.
“[STTI] has helped me to understand what it means to be part of a profession, not just a vocation,” says Chaboyer. “More recently, it has provided me with opportunities to further develop my international reputation through opportunities to deliver keynote and plenary addresses at conferences. And, in the last few years, I have been very fortunate to supervise two STTI/INDEN (International Network of Doctoral Education in Nursing) short-term, international post-doctoral researchers from developing and transitional countries.”
In recognition of Chaboyer’s outstanding achievements in nursing, she was inducted into the STTI International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in July 2015. “The actual induction took place in Puerto Rico, a long way from Australia, where I live. I was lucky in that my husband was able to join me and share in this experience,” says Chaboyer. “This was a pinnacle in my career and a public acknowledgment of how I have contributed to the nursing profession."