Dr Jessica Schults

Senior Research Fellow

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 66077


Jessica is a paediatric critical care nurse and researcher with more than 15 years of clinical experience and expertise. Her research themes to date have focused on ventilation strategies to reduce ventilator associated pneumonia and interventions to improve the safety and quality of care related to invasive medical devices. Jessica's developing research themes focus on enhancing health service surveillance using electronic health information in two major spheres: hospital-level surveillance for hospital-acquired complications and unit level surveillance for vascular access device complications and ventilator associated events. She is particularly interested in advances in infectious disease surveillance and tracking, using a combination of mature platforms and new electronic platforms. Jessica has experience leading international consensus studies using Delphi methods and is interested in clinical trials which embed hybrid strategies to enable the rapid and sustainable translation of research findings upon study completion. Jessica is passionate about growing clinician researchers and nurses’ capacity to lead and undertake research which contributes to practice change and better outcomes in our vulnerable patient groups including paediatrics and minority groups.

Research Interests

  • Development of core indicators for paediatric intensive care quality and safety measurement
    Australia and New Zealand Delphi study to define and select a core set of PICU quality indicators to measure and benchmark care quality in PICU
  • Implementing appropriate use criteria for endotracheal suction interventions in the PICU
    Following an extensive process to develop appropriate use criteria for endotracheal suction interventions, we will implement these guidelines in the PICU to determine whether implementation of the guidelines for 'children with a highly infectious respiratory disease' will lead to improved clinical and unit outcomes.
  • Development of a tool to support identification and escalation of children with Difficult Intravenous Access
    Together with consumers and clinicians at the Queensland Children's Hospital we have developed a DIVA tool. We are now testing this tool in practice to determine whether this supports first attempt insertion success and increased patient satisfaction. Trial lead Ms Tricia Kleidon.
  • Measuring the burden of hospital acquired complications in the PICU
    We are conducting a retrospective cohort study of 5 years worth of PICU admissions to determine the frequency and cost of HACs in the PICU. Our preliminary work (scoping review and stakeholder consultation) has shown that there is a lack of paediatric specific measures to support quality measurement and practice improvement.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University
  • Masters (Coursework), Queensland University of Technology
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Science, James Cook University


View all Publications


  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Schults, Jessica, Marsh, Nicole, Ullman, Amanda, Kleidon, Tricia, Ware, Robert, Byrnes, Joshua, Young, Emily, Hall, Lisa, Keijzers, Gerben, Cullen, Louise, Calleja, Pauline, McTaggart, Steven, Peters, Nathan, Watkins, Stuart, Corley, Amanda, Brown, Christine, Lin, Zhen, Williamson, Frances, Burgess, Luke, Macfarlane, Fiona, Cooke, Marie, Battley, Callan and Rickard, Claire (2023). DART 3: A pragmatic stepped wedge cluster randomised trial of ultrasound guidance to reducing multiple PIVC insertions in hospitalised patients. 2023 ACIPC International Conference, Adelaide, SA Australia, 12 – 15 November 2023. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/j.idh.2023.09.021

  • Hawley, Glenda, Rickard, Claire, Hewer, Barbara, Marsh, Nicole, Ball, Daner, Schults, Jessica, Kearney, Lauren, Ciranni, Maggie and Winters-Chang, Peta (2023). Peripheral Intravascular Cannulation (PIVC) Project. 33rd ICM Triennial Congress, Bali, Indonesia, 11-14 May 2023.

  • Rickard, Claire, Larsen, Emily, Marsh, Nicole, McGrail, Matthew, Ullman, Amanda, Kleidon, Tricia, Chan, Ray, Byrnes, Joshua, Mollee, Peter, Paterson, David, Chopra, Vineet, Stone, Leanne, Tapsall, Doreen, Keogh, Samantha, Gavin, Nicole, McCarthy, Sandie, Alexandrou, Evan, Choudhury, M.A., Corley, Amanda, Schults, Jessica, Ray-Barruel, Gillian and Geoffrey Playford, E. (2022). 76. “Gadgets and gizmos aplenty!” Dressing and securing peripherally inserted central catheters to prevent infection and failure. 2022 ACIPC International Conference, Sydney, NSW Australia, 13 - 16 November 2022. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/j.idh.2022.09.034

  • Schults, Jessica, Charles, Karina, Long, Debbie, Erikson, Simon, Irwin, Adam, Waak, Michaela, Hall, Lisa and Ullman, Amanda (2021). Recommendations for endotracheal suction interventions in children with highly infectious respiratory disease: results from a RAND/UCLA binational appropriateness panel. 9th International Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) online conference, Online, 7-10 November 2021. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.idh.2021.09.031

  • Schults, J., Cooke, M., Long, D., Schibler, A. and Mitchell, M. (2018). Normal saline instillation with paediatric endotracheal suction: It's what's always been taught. The 42nd Australian and New Zealand Annual Scientific meeting on Intensive Care and the 23rd Annual Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Conference, Queensland, Australia, 11-13 October 2017. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.aucc.2017.12.032

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor