Associate Professor Robyn Aitken

Senior lecturer


PhD University of Melbourne, 2009; Master of Educational Studies, Monash University, 1998; Bachelor of Educational Studies, Monash University, 1996; Post-basic Certificate in Anaesthesia & Recovery Room Nursing, 1989; Certificate Registered General Nurse, 1987


Darwin - Charles Darwin University campus


Robyn Aitken is a PhD prepared nurse with national and international experience in health service and professional leadership, research and evaluation, health policy, and health professional teaching, learning and curriculum design.

She has expertise in remote and Indigenous health, health care in low resource settings, health workforce design and innovation, and professional regulation. Robyn works across both the higher education sector and health services, most recently providing health service leadership as the Northern Territory Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and Department of Health Executive Director Clinical Support, Education and Public Health Services. Her leadership, teaching and research spans acute care, primary health care and public and population health.

Partnerships and collaborations:

  • Professorial fellow Flinders University School of Medicine
  • Centre for Remote Health (a joint centre of Charles Darwin University and Flinders University)
  • Northern Territory Department of Health

Professional memberships and awards:

Australian College of Nursing (ICN affiliated); CRANAplus; National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA)

Areas of expertise and research interests:

Health Policy, Health workforce, Remote and Indigenous Health, Health Services quality and innovation, Leadership, Cross-cultural communication, curriculum design and education, Postcolonial theory

Research Themes
  • Evaluating organisational cultural competence in Maternity Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women - A project conducted on behalf of the Maternity Services Interjuristictional Committee (MSIJC) and funded by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC)
  • Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Service Evaluation – A partnership between the Northern Territory Department of Health, Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting (PIC) Darwin, and Menzies School of Health Research
  1. Mitchell M, Wilson D & Aitken RL (2015). Family and Cultural Care of the Critically Ill Patient. In: D Elliot, L Aitken & W Chaboyer, ACCCN’s Critical Care Nursing, 3rd Ed. Elsevier Sydney
  2. Lenthall S, Knight S, Foxley S, Gordon V, Ivanhoe T & Aitken R (2015). The Remote Area Nurse model of Consultation. International Journal of Advanced Nursing Studies, 4(2),149-152
  3. Lenthall S, Gordon V, Knight S, Aitken RL & Ivanhoe T (2012) ‘Do not move the furniture and other advice for new remote area nurses (RANs)’, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 20(1): 44-45
  4. Aitken R & Brown, D.  (2012). ‘Pre-Service  Clinical  Practice  Education  for  Nursing and  Midwifery’,  in: Hennessey, D. Clinical Performance Development and Management System in Indonesia (CPDMS) From Assessment to National Policy and further, New Delhi: WHO, SEARO
  5. Aitken R. (2006). Exporting Nurses: A Global Incentive for Local Change. Harvard Health Policy Review, 7(1), 133-142
  6. Aitken, R., Manias, E., & Dunning, T (2006). Documentation of medication activities by graduate nurses in patient progress notes: a way forward for patient safety. Collegian 13(4): 5-11
  7. Manias, E., Aitken, R. & Dunning, T (2005). Graduate nurses’ use of protocols in managing patients’ medications in the acute care context. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14 (8):935-944
  8. Manias, E, & Aitken, R. (2005). Clinical teachers in specialty practice settings: perceptions of their role within postgraduate nursing programs. Learning in Health and Social Care, 4(2): 67-77
  9. Manias E., Aitken R. & Dunning, T. (2005) Graduate nurses’ communication with health professionals when managing patients’ medications. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14, 354-362
  10. Manias E., Aitken R. & Dunning, T. (2004) Medication management by graduate nurses: before, during and following medication administration. Nursing and Health Sciences, 6, 83-91.