Dr Nilufeur McKay, Senior Lecturer, Course coordinator, Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) Program at Edith Cowan University, Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, Omni Corde Rhythm Services, WA, CSANZ ASM Scientific Committee Multidisciplinary Stream Representative for 2024 in Perth.

A career in nursing has provided me the opportunity to travel and work in some of the most prestigious international healthcare institutions. In 2000, I completed my Bachelor of Science (Nursing) at Curtin University and took my very first job at Royal Perth Hospital in the Cardiothoracic surgery unit and later progressed to the Coronary Care unit. At that early stage, I knew advanced heart failure and transplant was an area I wanted to learn more about. In 2003, I sat the NCLEX licensure exam and ventured over to Arizona, USA.

In 2005, I started my Master of Nursing (Adult Nurse Practitioner) degree at Arizona State University while working in a surgical ICU taking care of post op cardiac surgery patients. The experience of working in a critical care setting managing labile haemodynamic and labile cardiothoracic surgeon prepared me well for my career as a cardiology nurse practitioner (NP)!

I commenced my first outpatient cardiology NP job in 2008, which is when I saw the value of –“continuity of care” of the same patients and the contribution I could make to their quality of life. From 2011 to 2017, I was fortunate to work at Mayo Clinic on a busy inpatient heart failure and transplant service. My responsibilities involved admissions, daily rounds, and discharging patients from the hospital. I was also a key member of the outpatient cardiology practice seeing heart failure patient to reduce preventable heart failure readmissions. As a NP my practice involved a combination of independent and collaborative practice with physicians to care for patients with various cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, I coordinated ongoing NP student clinical placements for a dozen specialties throughout the organisation. During my tenure at Mayo, I concurrently completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree through Johns Hopkins University in 2014 for which I led a research project and coordinated an interdisciplinary team to achieve positive statistically significant outcomes directly related to improving patient care. I contributed to various ongoing quality improvement initiatives at Mayo, some which are still in place today.

My experience of completing a doctoral degree at Johns Hopkins was more than just an educational achievement. I was exposed to a high calibre of nursing academics and leaders who fuelled my passion for teaching, leading and being a driver of change in nursing. I attribute my career success to having supportive nursing and physician mentors and most importantly strong family support.

My family and I moved to San Diego, California in 2017 where I then worker as a transplant and LVAD NP at Sharp Healthcare and The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) before returning to Perth in 2020.

I feel extremely privileged to be the course coordinator for the only Nurse Practitioner course in Western Australia. My current research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning looks at innovative methods to prepare the nurse practitioner workforce with our most recent project on conducting telehealth visits. I am passionate about advocating for all clinicians to work to the top of their licence and education preparation. I believe encouraging multidisciplinary team-based care will promote value-based healthcare and improve patient outcomes in Australia.