NRI directors


Professor Sandy Middleton
Director, NRI SVHA (Syd) ACU

Sandy Middleton is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. She has obtained 78 grants totalling $33.3 million. Professor Middleton was the lead investigator on the landmark NHMRC-funded QASC cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of nurse-initiated protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple international awards. Subsequently, Professor Middleton successfully translated this intervention into all 36 NSW stroke units, winning the 2014 NSW Premier’s Public Sector Award for Improving Performance and Accountability, and the 2014 NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Award for Excellence in Innovation Research – the highest NSW accolade for a nurse researcher. These protocols now are being translated into 300 hospitals in 12 European countries. She has published in high impact journals including Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Stroke, Implementation Science, and International Journal of Stroke. Professor Middleton is a Ministerial appointment to the NHMRC Research Committee. Her areas of research interest are implementation research, stroke, and cluster randomised controlled trials.


Associate Professor Elizabeth McInnes RN PhD
Deputy Director, SVHA (Syd) ACU NRI

Deputy Director of the NRI, Professor Elizabeth McInnes has worked at the Nursing Research Institute (NRI) since 2009 and was involved in establishing the NRI as a centre of nursing research excellence. She has led a number of research collaborations between University researchers and hospital clinicians that is highly clinically relevant and has the potential to improve processes of care.

Professor McInnes has extensive experience in conducting trials, qualitative and mixed-methods research designs, quantitative and qualitative systematic reviews. Her main research foci are improving evidence uptake and practice change mainly in the areas of pressure injury prevention and stroke care. Her research has generated high quality evidence that has been incorporated into clinical decision-making. Her widely cited Cochrane reviews on support surfaces − pressure injury prevention (McInnes et al 2015) and pressure injury management (2017) − have informed national and international guidelines. Recent examples include: the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence Clinical Guideline on The prevention and management of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care (2014); UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Quality Standards and Indicators (2014) and the Pan Pacific guideline for the prevention and management of pressure injury (2012).

Professor McInnes has been successful in obtaining funding as an investigator on Category 1 research project grants to the total of $3,367,663 and other external grants totalling over $1,565,000.