Pieta Shakes is overly enthusiastic about patient experience and person-centred care within our fast-paced systems and society. With a professional goal to improve equity, diversity and the translation of evidence into practice, Pieta was drawn towards education and research after her clinical career in mental health. As a Lecturer in the Master of Nursing, Pieta manages the research portfolio.

Pieta's developing program of research focuses on the experience and psychosocial aspects of prenatal diagnosis. She is currently in the end stages of writing and editing her PhD thesis, after successfully publishing the findings of her hermeneutic phenomenological study of the maternal lived experience of receiving a prenatal diagnosis of agenesis of the corpus callosum. Pieta is also involved in other research projects that aim to address knowledge gaps in the experience and psychosocial outcomes of prenatal diagnosis and workforce perspectives, needs and training. Pieta is leading an innovative project to co-produce training resources alongside parents with lived experience of a prenatal diagnosis, and she herself is a mother who received a prenatal diagnosis at 32 weeks gestation. 

Pieta is a credentialed mental health nurse with postgraduate qualifications in mental health nursing, child and adolescent mental health, diagnostic genomics and higher education innovative teaching and learning. She is the founder and Executive Director of Through the Unexpected, sits on the Perinatal Ethics Subcommittee of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and is involved in the JBI Evidence Synthesis Taxonomoy Initiative Group. Pieta frequently provides consultation on, or speaks at events about matters relating to diagnosis and prognosis communication, language, psychosocial outcomes and parent experience within prenatal diagnosis and is involved with the development of guidelines related to this research interest. 

  • NS5330: Persuasive Communication (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5331: Effective Clinical Governance (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5332: Informatics for Health Professionals (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5333: Synthesising Evidence for Healthcare (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5334: Professional Portfolios for Career Advancement (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5338: Ethics and Health Management (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5339: Leading and Managing in Health (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5340: Conflict and Dispute Resolution in Healthcare (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5341: Business and Finance for the Health Manager (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5342: Principles of Education for the Health Professional (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5343: Teaching in Practice Settings (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5344: Clinical Coaching (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5345: Contemporary Healthcare Education (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5346: Advanced Health Assessment (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5347: Quality Use of Medicines in Practice (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5348: Applied Health Assessment for Advanced Practice (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5349: Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5352: Qualitative Research in Healthcare (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5353: Quantitative Research in Healthcare (Level 5; ONL)
  • NS5354: Implementing Practice Development in Healthcare Contexts (Level 5; ONL)
  • Patient experience, genomics and nursing, prenatal screening and diagnosis, online education, innovative teaching, student-centred teaching, equity and diversity in nursing, neurodevelopmental differences, hermeneutic phenomenology, discourse analysis, agenesis of the corpus callosum, rare conditions and mental health
  • 2020 to 2022 - Sessional academic, James Cook University
  • 2018 to 2020 - Sessional academic, Deakin University
Research Disciplines
  • 2024 - Australian Nurse Memorial Centre Scholarship Recipient - ANMC Scholarship
  • 2021 - Southern Cross University Student Excellence Award
  • 2018 - Academic Excellence, Southern Cross University
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
  • Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Global Genomics Nursing Alliance G2NA
  • Through the Unexpected (Director)
  • The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • RTP Scholarship
  • 2021 - Letter of commendation for a high level of achievement in OUA SP 3 (GradCert Higher Ed Innovative Teaching and Learning)
  • 2021 - Letter of commendation for a high level of achievement in OUA SP 2 (GradCert Higher Ed Innovative Teaching and Learning)

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.

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Other research outputs
Current Funding

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

Through The Unexpected - Contract Research

Facing the Unexpected: Improving Women?s Mental Health through Training to Address the Psychosocial Aspects of Prenatal Diagnosis

Indicative Funding
$64,058 over 3 years (administered by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
This research project will produce novel knowledge that will be applied by TTU in the development of an online training program for health and allied health professionals. The training will enable these professionals to better support women and other pregnant people?s psychosocial health as they engage with processes related to receiving unexpected news of a fetal variation. The research project has 3 components: 1. survey research will be conducted with health and allied health professionals on training needs and interests; 2. lived experience co-design methods will be used to develop learning resources; 3. evaluation of the online training program.
Pieta Shakes and Belinda Johnson in collaboration with Chris Maylea (College of Healthcare Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and La Trobe University)
Prenatal Diagnosis; Women's Health; Training; Psychological processes; Health Professional Education; Patient Experience

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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