Dr Caroline Phelan

Senior Lecturer

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

place Flinders Medical Centre (4W330)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

With a distinguished career in nursing Dr. Caroline Phelan is a seasoned expert in the field of Palliative and End of Life Care. After beginning her training at the University of Canberra, her nursing career evolved from critical care settings into the sphere of public health with a Master's degree from the University of New South Wales. With a passion for improving patient outcomes, particularly in decision-making and acute care settings, she completed her PhD at the University of Newcastle.

Dr. Phelan has excelled in various clinical environments, from intensive care to emergency to clinical education, with a recent emphasis on pain management. Her interprofessional collaborations span medicine, nursing, and allied health contributing valuable interdisciplinary insights.

Within her academic role at Flinders University, Dr. Phelan is not only the Course Coordinator for the Postgraduate Palliative and End of Life Care programs but also an active clinical and health professional education researcher. She is part of the Flinders Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death & Dying, where she applies critical theories to address complex healthcare challenges. Dr Phelan is co-lead on End-of-Life-Essentials, a Commonwealth-funded project that provides online learning opportunities and practice resources for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to improve the quality and safety of End-of-Life care in hospitals.


PhD (Nursing) University of Newcastle

Master of Public Health UNSW

Bachelor of Nursing UC

Honours, awards and grants

End-of-life Essentials. Department of Health and Ageing, Australian Government.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Mandatory Medical Education. SA Health.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Knowledge and Attitude Survey SALHN. SA Health.

The Experience of Sleep for Palliative Care Patients and their Carers. SALHN Research Grant

Effectiveness of a novel approach to managing dry mouth in Rehabilitation, Aged and Palliative Care. SALHN Research Grant.

Feasibility study for a novel approach to the delivery of breakthrough analgesics in palliative care. The Hospital Research Foundation.

Key responsibilities

Course Coordinator postgraduate Palliative and End of Life Care Courses.

Coordinator Palliative and End of Life Care Short Courses

Member Flinders Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying.

Member, Research, Innovation and Clinical Excellence Committee, Division of Rehabilitation, Aged and Palliative Care, SAHLN.

Topic lecturer
PALL8432 Introduction to the Study of Palliative and End of Life Care
Supervisory interests
Acute care
Clinical trials
Critical Theory
Healthcare for older people
Judgement and decision making
Palliative care
Public health
Qualitative research methodology
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Palliative Care (1)
Associate supervisor: Medicine and Public Health (1)
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