Karen Lawrence has worked at Victoria University for over 14 years in various roles and is currently Director, Learning & Teaching for the College of Health & Biomedicine.

She has a strong connection with Victoria University, having commenced her undergraduate studies at VU in 1989 completing a Bachelor of Nursing and continuing in 1997 with a Graduate Diploma in Midwifery. Karen completed a Doctor of Education with a thesis titled Enhancing student learning through an innovated flexible delivery model of clinical experience. Since joining the academic team in 2002 Karen has developed a strong interest around student learning and more recently student engagement.

Karen has three key visions for the Director, Learning & Teaching role:

  • To embed strategies to improve the student experience, satisfaction and ultimately retention across the College of Health &Biomedicine.
  • To work closely with staff around curriculum development and renewal while ensuring course architecture is considered.
  • Supporting the College of Health & Biomedicine sessional workforce and enhancing sessional capabilities and work satisfaction.

Karen has many years teaching experience in the Bachelor of Nursing and is passionate about improving the quality of clinical experience. She has an interest in simulated learning and has presented at a number of International conferences on these topics. She is also co-editor and author of the award winning text Tabbners Nursing Care Theory and Practice 4th and 5th editions.

Recent publications

Livesay, K., Lawrence, K. & Miller, C. (2015). Making the most of simulated learning: Understanding and managing perceptions. International Journal of Nurse Education &. Scholarship. 12(1): 1–10 

Lawrence, K. (2014). Innovation in Clinical Practice: Providing undergraduate nursing students with a Best Practice Clinical Learning Environment. Journal of Teaching and Education. (1):265-274

Koutoukidis, G., Funnell, R. & Lawrence, K. (2010). Tabbners Nursing Care: Theory and Practice 5th ed. Sydney: Elsevier

Koutoukidis, G., Funnell, R. & Lawrence, K. (2005). Tabbners Nursing Care: Theory and Practice 4th ed. Sydney: Elsevier

Teaching expertise

  • Medical/Surgical nursing
  • Simulated Learning environment

Research grants

T & L Grant 2014: Evaluating preceptor and student perspectives of an integrated clinical model in a mental health environment. $10,000 Role: Co- investigator

TLS: 2008 Enhancing student learning through an innovated flexible delivery model of clinical experience.   $19,499, Role: Principal investigator

School of Nursing & Midwifery grant: 2008. Exploring staff needs and perceptions about using low and medium fidelity simulation in clinical skills laboratories. $10.000 Role: Co- investigator

Pilot Transition Grant: 2005. Division 2 entry nurses aiding in the transition from TAFE to Higher Education.  $7592 Role: Principal investigator


2009: Winner: The Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing TAFE category:

2009: Funnell R. Koutoukidis G. & Lawrence K. Tabbners Nursing Care theory and Practice 5th ed. Elsevier: Sydney

2007: Nomination VC's Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award

Professional membership

  • Australian Nursing Federation
  • Victorian Simulated Patient Network

Conference presentations

NACADA International Conference: Dubai February 2016. Introducing a First Year Champion into a Bachelor of Nursing: The challenges, achievements and recommendations

Australasian Nurse Educators Conference: Auckland, New Zealand Nov 2015. Students’ perspectives of an Integrated Clinical Learning Model (ICLM)

International Academic Discipline: Rome October 2013. Introducing simulation into an undergraduate bachelor of nursing: Listening to staff and addressing concerns through organisational changes.

14th National Nurse Education Conference: Perth April 2012 Innovation in Clinical Practice: Providing undergraduate nursing students with an ideal clinical experience.

Clinical Training & Workforce Planning Summit: Melbourne September 2010. Implementing a Flexible Model of Clinical Education into an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum.

Nurse Education Today and Nurse Education in Practice: Sydney April 2010 Introducing Simulation into a Nursing Curriculum: Are we all on the same page?

SIMTECH: Melbourne September 2009 Assessing Staff Beliefs: Anticipating and Navigating the Obstacles when Introducing Simulation into an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum

Learning Matters Symposium: Melbourne 2009. The challenges of implementing a flexible model of clinical education.

National Enrolled Nurse Education: Perth October 2008. The future of Enrolled Nursing: To infinity and beyond.

Learning Matters Symposium: Melbourne 2007. VC's Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award: A reflection on achieving positive synergy with students

Learning Matters Symposium: Melbourne 2006. Division 2 Nurses: assisting in the transition from TAFE to Higher Education.

Areas of expertise

  • Acute care
  • Clinical learning
  • Emergency nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Simulated learning

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 2462