Professor Kim Usher

Head of School - School of Health

Kim Usher

Phone: +61 2 6773 2975



Professor Usher is the Head of the School of Health. Kim was the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building at James Cook University. Since 2005 she has received more than $3.5 million in competitive funding for research and/or consultancy activities.

Kim's research areas of interest focus primarily on issues related to mental health including the psychosocial impact of emergencies and disasters, psychopharmacology, adolescent substance use and the impact on the family, stress and substance withdrawal, stress and its impact on preterm birth in Indigenous women, alcohol related injuries, sleep disorders, but also include family centred care and family carers, consumer and family experiences in health services, Indigenous health (especially mental health), and workforce issues.

Teaching areas of interest include mental health, research methodologies and reflective practice. Kim has received an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning and was awarded the JCU Vice Chancellor's Award for Supervision in 2009. Her ongoing work for professional groups, the Australian government, AusAID, and the World health Organization (WHO) indicate her current national and international profile. Previously Kim has held positions on numerous national working parties related to nursing, mental health, and nurse education, and served a term as the elected Chair of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery, Australia (CDNMA).

Kim has published extensively in the nursing and health related literature, has co-authored numerous book chapters including ones on mental health nursing and research, has over 100 peer reviewed publications principally published in the top ranking journals in the field, has been an invited keynote speaker at 10 national and international conferences, and has a current h-index of 16. She has served on Editorial Boards of key journals in her field such as the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, and is editor of Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research.

In addition, Kim has served on the NHMRC CRE panel for the last two years (2012 and 2013), undertaken the role of Research Director for the School from 2008-2011 (the school received an ERA ranking of 3 in 2012), has been an active member of the School and Faculty Research Committees for many years, supervised 19 PhD students to completion and currently supervises a large number of higher degree research students.



Teaching Areas

Research Education
Mental Health Nursing

Research Interests

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


Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
Fellow of the Cairns Institute, James Cook University
Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing
Member of the Golden Key National Honour Society (JCU Chapter) by invitation
Research Fellow of the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA)
Member of the Asia-Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network (APEDNN)

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