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Biographical entry Slater, Patricia Violet (Pat) (1918 - 1990)

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    Pat Slater, 1 February 1984
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Born
6 December 1918
St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Died
August 1990
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Nurse and Nurse educator

Summary

Patricia Violet (Pat) Slater gained her General Nursing Certificate at the Royal Children's Hospital and the Alfred Hospital, Victoria. She went on to train in both midwifery and infant welfare. After working and studying in several counties, including the USA and UK, Slater became a leader in nurse education. She played a role in the progression towards tertiary-based nurse education.

Details

Patricia Violet Slater moved with her family from Melbourne to Geelong in the 1920s. Pat was sent to school at the Hermitage in 1926. She left the school in 1936 and commenced her basic nurse education at the Royal Children's Hospital in 1937. She was awarded the second prize of the Dr Jeffreys Wood Prize at the Royal Children's Hospital for academic excellence. A required component of adult nursing education was undertaken at the Alfred Hospital. After completing her basic education, Pat undertook midwifery training at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, and Infant Welfare training at Karitane Home for Mother's and Babies, Sydney. From 1943-1947 Pat served in the Australian Army Nursing Service in Australia and in Borneo. The years from 1947 to 1952 were spent travelling and working in Victoria, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and in Queensland.

She travelled and worked in the UK and Europe from 1952 to 1955, returning to Australia in 1955 to take up her first teaching appointment at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, District School of Nursing. She completed a Diploma in Nurse Education, with the aid of a Florence Nightingale Scholarship, the first of many post basic qualifications she was to gain.

Assisted by a Centaur Scholarship, Pat studied at the University of Washington, USA, in 1959, gaining a BSc (Nursing). At 43 years of age she acquired her Master of Arts degree in 1961, also from the University of Washington. This was followed a study tour of nursing education facilities in Canada, USA, UK and Scandinavia, assisted by a Rockerfeller scholarship.

From 1961-1965 Pat was a consultant for the Florence Nightingale Committee and the Victorian Nursing Council, working on issues related to the future of nurse education in Australia. At the same time she was a part time, later full time, lecturer in the College of Nursing, Australia's post basic education program. She was appointed director of the College in 1965 and oversaw the development of the new College building that replaced the mansion on the site of 431 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. The new building was opened in 1970 and was later sold when the College moved to the ACT in 1994.

In the position of director of the College, Pat was well placed to bring about the changes in education that she saw as essential for the future of the nursing profession. In 1974 she implemented the first undergraduate college-based nursing course in Australia, ten years before it became government policy to move all undergraduate nurse education to the tertiary sector. She is recognised for her pioneering efforts in the transformation of nurse preparation. This was achieved by refocusing nurse education on the sound educational principles that were lacking in the traditional service/apprenticeship style of training that had existed in Australia for over a century. Her citation for honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia, sums up the qualities characteristic of her leadership. Patricia Violet Slater has had a profound and lasting influence in the qualitative improvement of nursing education in Australia. Her enthusiasm, vision, tenacity of purpose, courage and insight ensure her place amongst the distinguished nurses of Australia.

Pat Slater retired in 1983 and turned her attention to ethics, writing a number of papers before her untimely death, in August 1990. A mark of the high regard in which she was held by many, especially in education matters, was the renaming of Arthur Street, the street in which the College stood, to Slater Street in March 1984.

Events

1937 - 1941
Education - General Nursing Certificate completed at the Royal Children's Hospital and Alfred Hospital, Victoria
1941 - 1942
Education - Midwifery Certificate completed at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne
1943 - 1947
Career position - Served in the Australian Army Nursing Serving in Australia and Borneo
1947
Education - Infant Welfare Certificate completed at the Karitane Home for Mothers and Babies, Sydney
1947 - 1952
Career position - General work in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria in variety of roles including charge positions
1952 - 1954
Education - General and midwifery nursing in London
1955
Career position - Nurse Educator at Royal Melbourne Hospital District School of Nursing
1956
Award - Florence Nightingale Committee Scholarship received
1956
Education - Diploma in Nurse Education completed at the College of Nursing, Australia
1957 - 1959
Career position - Nurse Educator at Royal Melbourne Hospital District School of Nursing
1959
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing completed at the University of Washington
1959
Life event - Travelled to the USA
1959 - 1961
Award - Centaur War Nurses Memorial Scholar
1960
Award - Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia
1961
Education - Master of Arts (MA) thesis title "A study of the growth of hospitals and the development of the nursing profession in the changing society of colonial Australia 1788-1901." completed and graduated sumna cum laude
1961
Award - Member of the Sigma Theat Tau Nursing Honour Society, USA
1961 - 1962
Life event - Undertook a study tour of Canada, USA, UK and Scandinavia
1961 - 1962
Award - Rockerfellow scholarship received
1962
Career position - Consultant for Florence Nightingale Centenary Fund Trustees to study and present a report on nursing education in Victoria
1962
Career position - Curriculum Development Officer of the Victorian Nursing Council
1963
Career position - Lecturer (part-time, then full-time) at the College of Nursing, Australia
1965 - 1977
Career position - Director of College of Nursing Australia
1970
Life event - Opened new college building on the site in Arthur Street (later Slater Street), Melbourne
1974
Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to nurse education
1974
Education - World Health Organisation workshop on the Education of Teachers of Nursing and midwifery in the Phillipines
1974
Career position - Implemented the first undergraduate college based nursing education program at College of Nursing, Australia
1977
Award - Fellow of the New South Wales College of Nursing
1977
Award - Fellow of the Australian College of Education (for distinguished services to nursing education)
1977
Career position - Visiting Lecturer and study program at the School of Nursing at the University of California, USA
1977 - 1981
Career position - Honorary Director of College of Nursing in Australia
1977 - 1983
Career position - College of Nursing, Australia merges with Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences as a College of Advanced Education. Appointed head of the School of Nursing at the LIHS, in what was to become the School of Nursing at La Trobe University
1982
Award - Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia
1983
Life event - Retired
1983
Life event - Begins writing the history of the Royal College of Nursing. Australia and writes in bioethics
1984 - 1985
Career position - Consultant to the Darwin Institute of Technology to advise on nursing courses for the Northern Territory
October 1984 - December 1984
Career position - Secondment to Victorian Post Secondary Education Committee to prepare advice on future arrangements for the transfer of nursing education to institutes of higher education in Victoria
1985
Award - ANZAAS Award for Achievement in Medical Education received (Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science)
1985
Career position - Consultant in Education Administration to the Faculty of Nursing at Prince Songkla University in Thailand under the sponsorship of the Australian Universities International Development Program
1985
Career position - Consultant to the Darwin Institute of Technology to advise on the development of a Diploma in Applied Science Nursing course
1986
Career position - Consultant with the South Australian Health Commission to review specialised nursing services in South Australia
1987
Career position - Consultant to Victorian Post Secondary Education Commission to negotiate with the College of Nursing, Australia concerning the content of the building at 2 Slater Street in Melbourne
1987
Career position - Consultant to the Australian Capital Territory Health Commission to review Community Health Nursing Services
1988
Career position - Consultant to Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education to develop a Diploma in Applied Science Nursing course to be implemented at Wodonga and Dookie

Archival resources

Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre

  • Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences - Records, 1967 - 1990, VPRS 11289; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details

Royal College of Nursing, Australia, Archives

  • Patricia Violet Slater - Records, 1950s - 1990s; Royal College of Nursing, Australia, Archives. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Online Resources

Digital resources

Title
Slater Street Sign
Type
Image

Details

Title
J. Parker, P. Slater and P. Chomley
Type
Image

Details

Title
Pat Slater
Type
Image
Date
1 February 1984

Details

Helen Hamilton for ANMHP