A/Prof Caryn West has built a diverse research portfolio within nursing and public health through her professional roles and awards, including an early career fellowship with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and directorship of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Nursing, Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building. A/Prof West’s multiple areas of research interest – disaster management, nursing education, pain management and alcohol-related injuries in Australian Indigenous communities– are drawn together through the theme of resilience. A/Prof West has published more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the past five years, many of which focus on the role resilience plays in individuals, families and communities facing pain, recovery, disaster or hardship.

A/Prof West has assumed a leadership and mentoring role early in her research career through involvement with research centres, international humanitarian projects and international mixed methods research associations. A/Prof West maintains a strong international reputation in mixed methodology research as a member of the steering committee of the Mixed Method International Research Association and past Governance Chair of the Mixed Method International Research Association. A/Prof West works extensively with Asia Pacific and Western Pacific countries and is the current executive committee member for the Western Pacific Region of the Global Network of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, and a committee member and advisor for the Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nurses Network (APEDNN). Currently A/Prof West is involved in  numerous disaster-related education activities. As the Associate Dean Research for the College of Healthcare Science, and Deputy Academic Head for Nursing & Midwifery, A/Prof West has demonstrated intellectual leadership through work with research interns, novice academics and clinical researchers.

A/Prof West is a senior staff member in Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition and, during her tenure, has coordinated undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and research subjects and held a number of administrative roles. She is also advisor to several PhD students. 

  • Director: WHOCC Nursing & Midwifery Education & Research Capacity Building Governance. Chair & Executive Committee member: Mixed Method International Research Association (MMIRA) Executive Committee Member: Western Pacific Region for Global Network WHOCC
  • Mixed Method research & methodology, teaching and learning in the tertiary setting, Public Health issues including disaster prevention, preparedness, recovery and response, individual, family and community resilience and alcohol related injuries.
  • Use of unfolding case studies in undergraduate nursing education, research methodology and methods.
  • 2019 to present - Deputy Head of Academic Group, Nursing and Midwifery (Cairns)
  • 2017 to present - Associate Dean Research CHS, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2014 to present - Director WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2014 to present - Executive Committee Member WPRO Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing & Midwifery, WHO (International)
  • 2016 to 2019 - Adjunct Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong)
  • 2014 to 2016 - Governance Chair Mixed Method International Research Association, MMIRA (International)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Deputy Director WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2007 to 2012 - Secretariat APEDNN, World Health Organisation (Cairns)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2008 - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Inclusive Practice Award awarded ‘In recognition exceptional support for students with disabilities.’
  • 2014 to 2017 - National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Research Fellow (#107093). ‘Resilience in individuals and families coping with the impacts of alcohol related injuries in remote Indigenous communities.’ $304,596.00
  • 2013 to 2014 - Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute Centre for Research Excellence (APHCRI CRE) Fellow for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in rural and remote high risk populations
  • 2013 - Mixed Method International Research Association (MMIRA)
  • 2011 - Australian College of Nurses
  • 2011 - Global Network of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centres for Nursing & Midwifery (GNWHOCC)
  • 2011 - Asia Pacific Emergency Disaster Nurses Network (APEDNN)
  • 2011 - South Pacific Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA)
  • 2009 - Australian Branch of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 55+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Caryn West from 2009 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Health - Nursing and Midwifery Research Fellowship

Developing a consumer influenced model of accessibility to maternity services

Indicative Funding
$119,190 over 3 years
This project aims to develop a consumer influenced model of accessibility to maternity services utilising geographic information systems and consumer survey data. The model will include the physical accessibility of services, service availability, and the acceptability of the service to the population. This project will modify an existing spatial model that determines accessibility based on physical accessibility and service availability using consumer survey data that will reflect the acceptability of service. The model will be applied to Far North Queensland, an area with a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and many rural and remote localities.
Karen Yates, Caryn West, Geoffrey Clark and Catherine Smith in collaboration with Christopher Rouen (College of Healthcare Sciences and Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District)
Maternity Services; Geographic Information System; Healthcare accessibility; Rural And Remote Health; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Massey University - contract research - Contract Research

Review of Tokelau's Clinical Health Services and Patient Referrals Sceme

Indicative Funding
$6,903 (administered by Massey University)
The Tokelau Government has asked for an independent review of the Tokelau Patient Referrals Scheme (TPRS) and clinical health services. In partnership with the Tokelau Government, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has engaged a Massey University-led team to do the review. Our proposal is distinguished by three features in particular: the team is Pacific-led, the review design is bottom up, participatory and solutions-focussed, and our approach is grounded in a Tokelauan world view of health and wellbeing. This approach will allow for the co-creation of knowledge, will ensure that the review is inclusive of a diversity of views, including marginalised groups, and will enable us to undertake an in-depth review which reflects the social, economic, cultural and spiritual context. Methodological innovations such as use of the Systems Assessment Tool and particpatory co-design workshops will enable us to generate robust findings combining quantitative and qualitative data.
Tracie Mafileo, Sunia Foliaki, Tanya Koro, Helen Leslie, Michelle Redman-MacLaren and Caryn West (Massey University, Pasifika Health Service, Central Public Health Organisation, College of Medicine & Dentistry and College of Healthcare Sciences)
Health services, Pacific people's health

North Queensland Primary Health Network - Contract Research

Research Support for Suicide Prevention Planning and Implementation

Indicative Funding
This project requires support for community coalitions in north Queensland to develop capacities to prepare a suicide prevention plan for the region from Mackay to the Cape and Torres district in four Hospital and Health Service (HHS) areas: Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Hinterland and the Torres and Cape HHSs.
Alan Clough, Nerina Caltabiano and Caryn West (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and College of Healthcare Sciences)
Evaluation; Suicide; Prevention; Capacity building

North Queensland Primary Health Network - Contract Research

Helping create Resilient Communities: Using the Resilient Communities in Disasters (RCD) ? 3 day workshop

Indicative Funding
$400,000 over 3 years
The three day Resilient Communities in Disasters (RCD) ? workshop aims to build local capacity creating a 'shared responsibility' through the inclusion of community members. By increasing the resilience of a community, it allows for successful adaptation under changing conditions, proactive protection by individuals within the community and the ability to function better under stress and recover from disaster situations faster.
Caryn West in collaboration with Andrea Grimes, Vanessa Sparke and Sandra Downing (College of Healthcare Sciences, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Disaster Management; Indigenous; Resilience; Nursing

National Health & Medical Research Council - Early Career Fellowship

Resilience in individuals and families coping with the impacts of alcohol related injuries in remote Indigenous communities

Indicative Funding
$304,596 over 4 years
The program seeks to address a high priority area for Aboriginal Australians living in remote communities. Health disparities and priorities of rural and remote populations, in particular Indigenous Australians continue to exist. Through my experiences with in Indigenous education and retention I have a unique insight into the health challenges experienced in our region. This project aims focuses on alcohol-related injuries the long-term impact of this kind of injury on individuals, families and communities in order to better understand resilience strategies that may have helped to minimise alcohol?s negative effects. For individuals, families and communities, faced with the challenges of coping with the consequences of alcohol related injuries this project will contribute to `closing the gap? between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health.
Caryn West (College of Healthcare Sciences)
Indigenous Australian; Indigenous Health; Resilience; alcohol and behaviour; Injuries

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Disaster Risk Reduction: Building Community Resilience through Health Student Support in Shelters (HSSS)

Indicative Funding
Cyclone prone regions necessitate the need for robust preparatory plans and disaster risk mitigation policies. Cairns has two emergency shelters that offer public safety during a cyclone event. Currently manned by city council workers, we proffer that health students could offer valuable assistance.
Caryn West, Andrea Grimes, Karen Yates, Vanessa Sparke, Sandra Downing and Ben Ryan (College of Healthcare Sciences, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Queensland Health)
disaster; Resilience; student nurses; evacuation shelters

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Implementing Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient-centred care for women and children by nurses and midwives in Timor-Leste: An Action Research approach. (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Implementing Large Scale, Community-Level Intervention Studies in Remote Indigenous Communities: A Realist Evaluation of the 'Cape York Cannabis Project'. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Health Care Homes in Cairns: a mixed methods study exploring the experience of adults living with chronic conditions to inform the new model of primary health care (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Improving Infection Control at Atoifi Adventist Hospital, Solomon Islands: a Mixed method approach in a resource poor setting (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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