Professor Tracey McDonald AM FACN - Nat Sch of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine (Faculty of Health Sciences)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Appointed in 2005 to the RSL LifeCare Chair of Ageing at Australian Catholic University Tracey McDonald has a research and scholarship interest in issues important to veterans, clinicians and older adults concerning safety and quality care of older people; practice-driven research, clinical practice development; information technology; spirituality and life quality. In 2012, a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) was bestowed for her work in nursing, health and aged care, United Nations Expert Groups and development of national and international public health and social welfare policy.

Qualifications and experience in public health, nursing, midwifery, education and management across the aged care and health services support involvement with public policy, clinical leadership and research.

As director of the RSL LifeCare Centre for Practice Development and Innovation in Ageing (CPDIA) she is working on developing programs of research that will support the health and wellbeing of both veterans and the general community


Phone :(02) 9739 2280 (North Sydney)
URIs :

Research Interests

Spirituality in health care ; Professional and Practice Development ; Aged-Care ; Quality and Safety of Health ; Quality and Safety of Aged Care Services ; Public Health Mapping and Analysis ; Critical Pedagogy ; Simulation in Teaching Cognitive Skills ; Leadership Capacity Development ; Management Capacity Development ; Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Models of Practice ; Quality Benchmarking Analysis ; Policy Development and Review ; Policy ;

Methods Expertise

Quantitative analyses ; Mixed methods ; Survey Method ; Randomised Control Trials ; Intervention trials ; Grounded Theory ; Critical Social Theory ; Participatory Action Research ; Ethnography ; Historic Inquiry ; Case Study ; Discourse Analyses ; Content Analyses ; Educational Psychology ; Delphi Inquiry ; Participant and Non-Participant Observation ; Descriptive Statistics ;

Research Projects

Completed Projects

  • Transition to end-of-life in the aged care setting: (Master) (Co-Supervisor)
  • The lived experience of older adults participating in a social support network group (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Intervention study on the uptake by peri menopausal women of osteoporosis information and self-assessment / self- efficacy skills (Master) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Evaluation of RN assessment skills in depression among elders with and without dementia (Master) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Does a Prior History of PTSD contribute to Dementia Symptomatology in World War II and Korean War Veterans? (PhD) (Associate Supervisor)

Current Projects

  • The effectiveness of risk management and quality assurance in improving the life of residents in nursing homes (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Perspectives of elderly quality of life between elders, families and nurses (Master) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Investigation of therapeutic efficacy of combined guided imagery and music (GIM) therapy on chronic pain in older adults (Master) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Investigation of nursing knowledge of catheter selection following the introduction of a catheter decision support tool (Master) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Investigation of personal burden associated with degenerative neurological conditions (PhD) (Co-Supervisor)
  • Clinical decision-making frameworks used by registered nurses in aged care (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)

Selected Publications


McDonald, T. Measurement characteristics of a long term care quality of life scale. , in International Journal of Care Services Management,

Nursing education development in China (1887-1949): influences on contemporary nursing, in International Nursing Review. May pp 1-9


McDonald, T. & Harding T. Enabling nurses in delivering competent spiritual care , in Abe W. Ata (Ed) Catholics and Catholicism in Contemporary Australia: Challenges and Achievements, 2012 pp.152-165

McDonald, T. & Russell, F. Impact of technology-based care and management systems on aged care outcomes. , in International Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences. Sciences Spring, 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00668

McDonald, T. Elemental Considerations of a??Long Lifea?? as Success or Failure , in Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 24:1-2, 4-19.


McDonald, T. Nursing - Our Multigenerational Work in Progress. 45th Patricia Chomley Memorial , in Oration, Royal College of Nursing Australia, Darling Harbour, Sydney. RCNA Press (23 pages)

McDonald, T. & Bastian, P. Celebration of a Century- RSL LifeCare, The first 100 years. , in University of NSW Press.

McDonald, T. Practice-Driven Research: a practical approach to knowledge development in aged care, in Woodslane Press, Sydney.


McDonald, T. Building capacity for aged care policy reform: Aspirations and issues , in International Journal of Care Services Management, 2010 Vol 4. No.2. pp. 157-166.

McDonald, T. Urinary Tract Infection: A less-known winter risk? , in International Journal of Care Services Management, Vol. 5. No.1. pp. 57-62

Ping Yu., Hui Yu., McDonald, T. Critical Factors for the Successful Introduction of Information and Communication Technologies into Health Care Organisations , in Journal of Medical Informatics 2010 Vol 31. No. 5. pp.1-7.

Other information

Member of the Order of Australia (AM) Awarded in 2012 for outstanding services to nursing, aged care and public policy on health and social welfare in Australia and internationally

National Lead Clinicians Group 2011-2014 Ministerial appointment to directly advise on health and management priorities, policy and research because of my work in nursing, education, management and clinical research

Committee Representation: State, national, international forums re legal, industrial, education, social development; national agencies within international trade, public policy, social inclusion, human rights forums, health ageing and primary care contexts; ICN expert nurse for Australian College of Nursing, assessor of nursing and midwifery curricula with Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC).

Policy Involvement: legislative review, political influence around budget, research, service priority setting; development, review and analysis of policy associated with professional and vocational education and training, health services quality and safety, health care information technology. National and international involvement in policy framework development and consultative processes.

Communication activities: advise boards on professional, organisational, political issues, members, stakeholders, general community and competitors; interagency and interdisciplinary liaison; writing for industry, professional journals, research journals and news media; developing/presenting television programs, radio/television interviews, media strategy and releases, backgrounding, interviews, online blogs, internet, marketing.