Melissa-Jane Belle

UTAS Home Dr Melissa-Jane Belle

Melissa-Jane Belle

Lecturer in Rural Health

Room E011 , E Block

+61 3 6324 3318 (phone)

Doctor Melissa-Jane Belle is an Early Career Researcher and Lecturer at the Centre for Rural Health. She is interested in the education and training, professionalism and professional identity of nurses and health professions, and how they apply this in their practice.


Before commencing her studies at the University of Tasmania, Melissa practiced as an Enrolled Nurse in the practice areas of anesthetics, General Practice, and community health in New South Wales and Victoria. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Tasmania in 2017 and holds teaching and research positions within the School of Medicine and School of Social Sciences.

Career summary



Thesis Title



Date of award

BA Honours

Putting Our Hands Up: How Child Health Nurse maintain control of specialist knowledge

University of Tasmania


Dec 2011

PhD in sociology

Critical Care Nurses’ construction of professional identity: Contextual and contingent

University of Tasmania


Dec 2017

View more on Dr Melissa Belle in WARP


  • Nursing
  • Health professions
  • Professionalism and health professions

Research Themes

Melissa’s research aligns to the University’s research theme of Better Health. Her research interests include understanding

with The School of Health Science’s research focus on education of health professionals and rural health practice. This research area is integral to addressing health disparities in rural and remote areas

Current projects

Melissa is currently involved in projects aimed at promoting strategies to increase recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural and remote areas, and understanding health workers experiences of working in Aged Care during the COVID19 pandemic.

Fields of Research

  • Sociology (441099)
  • Sociological methodology and research methods (441006)
  • Sociology of health (441011)
  • Applied sociology, program evaluation and social impact assessment (441001)
  • Teacher education and professional development of educators (390307)
  • Rural and remote health services (420321)
  • Higher education (390303)
  • Aged health care (420301)
  • Rural clinical health (320224)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding knowledge in human society (280123)
  • Expanding knowledge in the health sciences (280112)
  • Evaluation of health and support services (200299)
  • Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) (200301)
  • Professions and professionalisation (230502)
  • Expanding knowledge in education (280109)
  • Management, resources and leadership (160204)
  • Teacher and instructor development (160303)
  • Rural and remote area health (200508)
  • Community health care (200302)
  • Health related to ageing (200502)


Total publications


Journal Article

(2 outputs)
2022Belle MJ, Cook PS, ''I've got no idea': an ethnography of critical care nurses' nuanced and ambiguous professional identities in regional Australia', Health Sociology Review pp. 1-16. ISSN 1446-1242 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14461242.2022.2091947 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cook PS


2013Belle M, Willis K, 'Professional practice in contested territory: Child health nurses and maternal sadness', Contemporary Nurse, 43, (2) pp. 152-161. ISSN 1037-6178 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5172/conu.2013.43.2.152 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 8


Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
2023Belle MJ, Cook PS, 'Professions and Professional Identity', The Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical perspectives for 21st century Australia, Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd, PS Cook and A Possamai-Inesedy (ed), Australia, pp. 111-126. ISBN 9780655701996 (2023) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cook PS

Conference Publication

(5 outputs)
2019Moore R, McLeod K, Ozkul D, Vincent K, Ciftci S, et al., 'Using collaborative peer engagement to bring a decolonising lens to teaching practice', TASA 2019, 25-28 November 2019, Western Sydney University (2019) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Moore R; McLeod K; Ozkul D; Vincent K; Ciftci S

2018McLeod K, Moore R, Ciftci S, Vincent K, Belle M, et al., 'Using collaborative peer engagement to bring a decolonising lens to teaching practice', Teaching Matters, 21 November 2018, Launceston, Australia (2018) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: McLeod K; Moore R; Ciftci S; Vincent K; Ozkul D


2017McLeod K, Belle MJ, Ciftci S, Moore R, Ozkul D, et al., 'Disrupting whiteness in the classroom: Early stages of a collaborative investigation', Southern Knowledges Symposium, 2-3 November 2017, University of Tasmania (2017) [Keynote Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: McLeod K; Ciftci S; Moore R; Ozkul D; Vincent K

2016Belle MJ, 'Critical Care Nurses' (CCNs') Professional Identity: multiple processes of difference', Medical Sociology Study Group 48th Annual Conference, 7-9 September 2016, Birmingham, UK (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Belle MJ, 'Temporal boundary work: Critical Care Nurses' professional identity in Tasmania', TASA conference 2014: Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities, 24 - 27 November, Adelaide, pp. online. ISBN 9780646927350 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]



(1 outputs)
2017Belle MJ, 'Critical Care Nurses' professional identity constructions in an Australian Intensive Care Unit: Contextual and Contingent' (2017) [PhD]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Health Workforce Program: Expansion of the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program in Aged Care Services (2022 - 2023)$1,500,702
The project will involve the establishment of a health training demonstration site in a rural residential aged care service and management of the clinical training of allied health and nursing students. Research will be conducted at the demonstration site to improve local health outcomes of residents in aged care facilities and to ensure better integration across the health and aged care sectors.
Department of Health (Cth) ($1,500,702)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Byrne N; Obamiro KO; Lethborg C; Jessup BL; Belle MJ; Marsh P; Stirling CM; Marlow AH
2022 - 2023