Professor Kim Usher

Professor of Nursing - School of Health

Kim Usher

Phone: +61 2 6773 2975



Professor Usher AM, RN, PhD, FACMHN, FACN, is Professor of Nursing in the School of Health, Research Fellow Oxford-Brookes, Oxford, UK, Research Fellow, Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health & Social Equity, and, Adjunct Professor, Murdoch University, Australia. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

Professor Usher was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2017 in recognition of sustained contribution to nursing and midwifery education and research. She was recognised for teaching by the award of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2008)anda James Cook University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Higher Degree Research Supervision in 2009. In 2018, Professor Usher was named in the top 10 nursing academics in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Usher’s research outputs include in excess of 200 publications in high quality peer reviewed journals and numerous book chapters. Her current bibliometric statistics are: H-index - 37, i-10 index of 108, RG index of 39.49 and over 6,000 citations to her work (source: Google Scholar 20/08/2019). She has served on Editorial Boards of key journals in her field such as the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, and has served on the National Health and Medical Research Committee (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence panel, and regularly reviews for the Australian Research Council (ARC) and NHMRC project grants.

Professor Usher has successfully supervised over 30 PhD students to completion, and continues to supervise a large number of higher degree research students. Her students have received numerous awards and most publish numerous outcomes from the research during their period of candidature.



Teaching Areas

Research supervision
Research Methodology
Mental Health Nursing

Research Interests

Research Interests

Mental health including the psychosocial impact of emergencies and disasters, psychopharmacology, and, substance use; patient safety; Indigenous health; family centred care and family carers; consumer and family experiences in health services; and, workforce issues.


2020 - Usher, K., Bhullar, N. & Jackson, D. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Australians’ preventive health behaviours: A mixed methods study. NSW COVID-19 Round one grant. $332,000 Successful

2020 – Usher, K. Marriott, R., Saunders, V., Bhullar, N., Ranmuthugala, G. & Maple, M.   (2020-2022). Enhancing social and emotional wellbeing healing through arts-based storytelling for Aboriginal communities of Northern Inland NSW. Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Bushfire Impact Research Grant. $628,983.80

2020 – Usher, K. & Bhullar, N. (2020). HNECC PHN Empowering our Communities grant. Art and mental health community event. $49,906

2020 – Smith, J., Aitchison, R. & Usher, K.  Understanding the emotional consequences of the redress scheme for survivors of abuse. UNE Faculty of Medicine and Health/NEIHR grant. $9,883

2019 – Usher, K. & Porter, C. (2019-2020). HNECC PHN Healthy Weight Community Grants, $55,000

2017 – East, L., Woods, C. & Usher, K. (2017-18). Healthy nutrition and exercise program for Aboriginal families. Cancer Institute NSW, $49,000

2013 – Woods, C., Usher, K. & Maguire, G. Mapping access to polysomnography studies across Australia. JCU Centre for Nursing  and Midwifery Research (CNMR) grant $2,725

2013 – Woods, C., Usher, K. & Maguire, G. Identifying barriers and enablers to successful uptake for treatment of sleep apnoea for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. JCU Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research (CNMR) grant $3,832

2013 – Robertson, J., Clough, A. & Usher, K. A study to inform the review of the current Alcohol Management Plan for Palm Island. Local Government Association of Qld (LGAQ) and Palm Island Aboriginal Council. $48,000

2013 – Woods, C., West, C., Usher, K., Park, T., Mills, J., Bentley, K. Final year student nurses readiness for practice. Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation Research Award $2,000

2012 – Usher, K. & Cadet-James, Y. Developing an individual model of midwifery care. Perpetual Trust, $32,000

2012 – Usher, K., West, C. & Mills, J. Research capacity upskilling of the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Network (APEDNN) members. AusAID Australian Leadership Award (ALA) – Research capacity development. AusAID $167,000.

2012/13/14/15 – McDermott, R., O'Dea, K., Segal, L., Clough, A., Usher, K., Panaretto, K., & Morgan, A. Australian Primary Health Care Strategy CRE for Chronic disease $2,500,000

2012 – West, C., Usher, K., & Woods, C. The impact of Cyclone Yasi on healthcare workers. JCU Faculty grant $3,000

2011 – Usher, K., Tucker, C., West, R., & Cadet-James, Y. Developing an individual model of midwifery care. Perpetual Trust $10,000

2011 – Mills, J., West, C., Usher, K., Mason, M., & Henry, R. Simulated clinical learning using unfolding case studies. WIL grant JCU $10,000

2010 – West, R., Usher, K. & Gardner, A. Indigenous nurses and midwives in service delivery: An exploration of skills and attributes. Queensland Health Nursing and Midwifery Research Grant $10,000

2009-2012 – Usher, K., Lindsay, D., Stewart, L., McAuliffe, M. & West, C. Enhancing nursing standards across the Pacific. WHO $375,000

2010-2011 – Boon, H., Tsey, K. Usher, K. Emergency preparedness for children with disabilities in schools. Cross Faculty Collaboration Grant, JCU $10,000

2009-11 – Usher, K., Foster, K. & Park, T. Development of a weight and exercise intervention. Ely Lily $26,000

2008-10 – Usher, K., Foster, K., Park, T. & Buettner, P. Prevention of weight gain with second generation antipsychotics: a nurse-led intervention. Chief Investigator for Queensland Nursing Council Research Grant $30,000


Link to Professor Usher's publications list


Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
of the Cairns Institute, James Cook University
Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing
of the Golden Key National Honour Society (James Cook University Chapter) by invitation

Consultancy Interests

2013 – Usher, K., Park, T. & Trueman, S. Mental health nursing upskilling course for the Pacific. AusAID Australian Leadership Award (ALA). AusAID $178,000.

2011 – Usher, K., Stewart, L., West, C. & Henry, R. Partnership case study. WHO funding US$ 6,000

2010 – Usher, K., Lindsay, D. & Oman, K. Continuing professional development framework. PHRHA/WHO funding $35,000

2010 – Usher, K. & Griggs, M. Psychosocial disaster-short course for nurses. WHO funding US $10,000

2009 – Usher, K. & Stewart, L. Kiribati health services plan. WHO funding US$22,000

2009 – Usher, K., Tollefson, J., McAuliffe, M. & Baldwin, A. Midwifery curriculum review, Fiji School of Nursing. WHO funding  $25,000