Associate Professor Debra Kerr is currently an Adjunct Professor in the College of Health & Biomedicine.

Prior to joining Victoria University, she worked for over 10 years at the Joseph Epstein Centre for Emergency Medicine Research at Western Health as Deputy Director and Program Manager.

She is actively involved in interdisciplinary research with clinicians at Western Health and at the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Clinic. Her research interests and recent projects include:

  • bedside nursing handover
  • intranasal medication delivery
  • prevention of mood disturbances after acute stroke.

Debra is the current Chair for the University’s Research and Research Training Committee, and has considerable experience with ethics approval processes. 

She is an Academic Board Member for Victoria University and a Panel Member for Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) – Nursing.

Recent publications

Kerr D, Klim S, Kelly AM, McCann T. Impact of a modified nursing handover model for improving nursing care and documentation in the emergency department: A pre- and post-implementation study. International Journal of Nursing Practice. 2016; 22 (89-97).

Mazarrino M, Kerr D, Wajswelner H, Morris M. Pilates method for women’s health: Systematic Review of randomized controlled trials. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2015; 96:2231-42.

Boardman G, Kerr D, McCann T. Peers experience of delivering a problem-solving program to enhance antipsychotic medication adherence for individuals with schizophrenia. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Aug 6;22(6):423-30.

Boardman, G., McCann, T., Kerr, D. A peer support programme for enhancing adherence to oral antipsychotic medication in consumers with schizophrenia. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2014. 70 (10): 2293-2302.

Kerr D, Evans B, Taylor D. Patient-controlled intranasal fentanyl analgesia: a pilot study to assess practicality and tolerability during childbirth. International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia. 2015. 24 (2): 117-123.

View more of Debra's publications in Victoria University's Research Repository.

Teaching responsibilities

  • Pathophysiology and Quality Use of Medications
  • Foundations in Nursing


  • Honours Coordinator

Postgraduate research students and fellows


Associate Professor Kerr currently supervises 3 PhD students and 2 Masters students.


She has supervised 1 PhD student and 4 Honours students to completion.

Research Grants

  • $9,996.99: Western Region Aged Care Gran: Strengthening the connection between sub-acute care and community services: A carer focused intervention. Panayitou A, Kirby K, Kerr D. (2014)

  • $20,000: National Stroke Foundation: Effects of early motivational interviewing on post-stroke depressive symptoms - Randomised controlled trial of the Good Mood Intervention program (2013)
  • $141,285: DHS: Intranasal Naloxone administration for heroin overdose
  • $80,000: MBF: Improving call to thrombolysis times for patients with AMI who receive thrombolysis
  • $49,000: NSW Health Drug and Alcohol Research Grants Program: Randomised double blinded trial comparing the effectiveness of intranasal and intramuscular Naloxone for the treatment of acute opioid overdose at the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (2008/2009)

Professional membership

  • Member, Royal College of Nursing
  • Member, Australian Nursing Federation

Areas of expertise

  • Acute and chronic nursing care
  • Coronary care nursing
  • Intranasal medication delivery
  • Quantitative clinical research
  • Research ethics
  • Response to emergency and acute medical conditions

Contact details