Leena Panicker

RN, MSN, Higher Dip. Children’s Nursing

Lecturer in Nursing

Leena graduated from Kerala University, India in 1991 and started her nursing career in adult acute care. She obtained her MSc. Nursing Education from Trinity College, Ireland, and Higher Diploma in Children’s Nursing from Dublin City University, Ireland. Her clinical and teaching experiences spread over India, Middle East, Ireland and Australia with expertise in renal nursing, paediatric nursing and qualitative research. She started her PhD with CDU in 2013, and the study explores the health rights of Indigenous patients in renal care.  Her research interests include chronic childhood illnesses, chronic disease management, parent and patient empowerment, health rights and Indigenous health, decolonisation of research, and online learning.

Coordinator for International Students

As the Coordinator for International Students, Leena contributes to the educational preparation of pre-registration and post-graduate nursing students with a specific focus on the provision of culturally safe effective learning support programs for international students. She is actively involved in collaborative academic efforts in the College of Nursing and Midwifery, International Office and the Office of Learning and Teaching to ensure seamless service is delivered to support higher education of international students.

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Educational Qualifications

  • PhD student, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia (from September 28th, 2013)
  • Certificate in Justice, June, 2018,  MOOC from Harvard University
  • MSc. Nursing Education     2008-2010 (2 years part-time)
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Higher Diploma Children’s nursing, 2007-2008 (1-year full time)
    School of Nursing, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.
  • BSc. Nursing,  1987-1991,  College of Nursing, Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, India.


  • Currently coordinating and teaching an undergraduate unit in the Bachelor of Nursing course, NUR 113- Professional Concepts in Nursing
  • Teaching in three postgraduate clinical specialty units (paediatric nursing stream)
  • Postgraduate supervision. Successful completion of four Masters in Clinical Nursing students in the last two years, 2016-2017

Philosophy of Teaching

My philosophy of teaching is shaped out of my concepts about ‘being human’, the meaning of life, and ideas about learning and human progress. I believe in Bertrand Russell’s words “Education is leading of human souls to what is best and making what is best out of them”. Importantly, the teacher in me believes in the holistic development of the learner as a better human being. The current volatility, uncertainty and complexity of the world demand responsive human beings.  The greatest ability that learners should attain in their lifetime is to challenge, question and innovate pathways and, through which to attain a newer and richer understanding of the world to transform it for the best. Hence, the result of education should be an empowered human being with critical thinking skills and informed decision making.

The teacher should be a role model and a facilitator to inspire and instigate the holistic development of the learner. Equally, the teacher should provide an interactive, collaborative environment that promotes learner’s problem solving and critical thinking skills. The learning environment should accommodate a variety of adult learning styles which will enrich learning by integrating their new knowledge with prior knowledge and personal experiences.

The teaching strategies used in my classrooms are based on adult learning theories with a humanistic approach. There should be freedom of expression in the classrooms, and the teacher should create an ambience with a sense of acceptance and tolerance to each others opinion. I believe the classrooms should be a stage for open thinking and the teacher should be able to kindle the fire of learning with a vision and passion for learner empowerment.

Readiness and motivation of the learner have utmost importance in the effectiveness of learning. As a teacher, I am aware of these unique factors in the learning-teaching dyad and will design the teaching strategies to enhance effective learning. I strongly believe, in a nurturing environment,  learners will become aware of their strengths and weaknesses, which will perpetually enrich the process of on-going growth.


  • Currently enrolled for PhD exploring the health rights of Indigenous patients in renal care.
  • Part of the research team in CDU- Contextualisation of Practice Project & Exploring the Delivery of Primary Health Care by Non-Government Organisations in Northern Territory, Australia
  • Member of the undergraduate nursing curriculum development committee
  • Member of postgraduate nursing curriculum development committee



  • Panicker, L. (2013). Parent Empowerment: a Nursing Perspective. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishers.

Journals and other publications

  •  3 Minute Thesis Asia Pacific Final presentation in University of Queensland, Australia, September 2017, “ Getting it right: Health rights of Indigenous patients with kidney disease. https://youtu.be/rlrwG1-px6Q

Conference Presentations

  • Top End Health service, Research in Practice Symposium on 26th July 2018. Oral presentation, “Ethical vigilance n Indigenous research”.

  • Top End Health Service International Nurses and Midwives Week, May 9th, 2018, oral presentation on “an exploration of health rights of Indigenous patients, lessons learned about access to care”.

  • Institute of Advanced Studies Student Researchers conference (IASSR), CDU, Darwin, 2017. Oral presentation, “Ethical challenges of researching with Indigenous patients.”

  • 5th Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference, Singapore, July 29th -30th 2017, oral presentation on “Experiences of flipping an online classroom: An appraisal using the Community of Inquiry Framework”.

  • Blackboard Teaching Learning Conference, Darwin, 2017, Oral presentation, “Experiences of flipping an online classroom: An appraisal using the Community of Inquiry Framework”.  https://experience.blackboard.com/TLC-ANZ/session/experiences-flipping-online-classroom-appraisal-using-community-inquiry-framework/
  • Lecture to Renal Society of Australia, Queensland Division, delivered on 16th August 2016, “Health rights of Indigenous renal patients in the Northern territory”.
  •  International Indigenous Health Conference, Cairns, 1st -3rd December 2015, oral presentation on “Experiences of a non- Indigenous researcher doing Indigenous research”.
  •  3rd Annual Worldwide Nursing conference, Singapore, 29th -30th June 2015, oral presentation, “Nurses’ perceptions of Parent empowerment”.
  •  International Conference on Recent Health Advances, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 14th -17th August 2014, oral presentation, “Nurses’ perceptions of Parent empowerment” awarded with the best oral presentation.
  • Chronic Disease Conference, Darwin, NT, 9th -10th September 2013, oral presentation, “Nurses’ perceptions of Parent empowerment”.

Community Engagement

  • Member of CDU Council representing higher education for 2018-2020
  • Member if CDU Academic Board, representing College of Nursing and Midwifery for 2018-2020.
  • National Councillor and School of Health delegate for National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) since 2014.
  • Member of Global Qualitative Nursing Research (GQNR) journal review board.
  • Member of Asian Journal of Psychiatry review board.
  • Member of iScholar Group in CDU, an initiative to foster and support learning and teaching innovations in higher education.
  • Member of the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF).
  • Registered Nurse Tutor with the Irish Nursing Board.

Professional Memberships, Awards, Recognitions

  •  CDU winner of 3 Minute Thesis completion in 2017 and represented CDU in the Asia Pacific Final held in University of Queensland.
  • Certificate of outstanding contribution in peer reviewing from Asian Journal of Psychiatry in 2017.
  • The research unit in the Bachelor of Nursing program, coordinated and taught by Leena, was externally peer reviewed and identified as excellent in the academic calibration process.
  •  CDU, EHSE Faculty winner of 3 Minute Thesis competition in 2015
  • Best oral presentation certificate in the International Conference of Recent Health     Advances, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 14th -17th August 2014.
  • The first runner-up in Anne Arthur Research award 2012 for the best research paper presentation, endowed by Royal Darwin Hospital and Northern Territory Health Department.
Leena Panicker


T: +61 8 8946 7179
E: leena.panicker@cdu.edu.au

College of Nursing and Midwifery
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909