Research activity per year

Personal profile


Since joining Bell College in 2006 as Adult Nursing lecturer, I have taught both under and postgraduate programmes, and with my current role of MSc Adult Nursing Programme Lead, I have been a key player with several highly acclaimed achievements within UWS, all of which led to attainment of Senior Fellow status (Advance HE) in 2020.

My established relationships within the Division of Adult Nursing and Healthcare and, more widely within the school, my wealth of experience, combined with that obtained during my 19 years as an NMC registered nurse, provides me the requisite aptitude to deliver the key responsibilities and comfortably meet benchmarks and KPI’s. I am able to contribute more strategically to the School and Division, and in a strong position to embrace and lead the way to achieve further University success.

I have become more interested in developing initiatives and evaluating research, which commenced with raising awareness of dementia particularly with school children. The research 'Dementia: through the eyes of a child' developed from a project which included facilitating awareness sessions for school children from the age of 9 years onwards. The results of the research highlighted that children are very receptive to learn about dementia and positively engaged with sessions specifically to help support people living with dementia. Following this research the class teachers were asked to continue this learning if possible with outcomes including the children producing poetry and artwork which reflected their thoughts and feelings of what it mght be like to live with dementia. This work was very insightful and thoughtful and from this their artwork was displayed publically during an exhibition 'Luminate', Scotland's Creative Ageing Festival within Scotland Street Museum.

Following the success of this research, has led to this being fully integrated within the BSc Adult and Mental Health nursing  undergraduate programmes. Student nurses now deliver dementia awareness sessions with schoolchildren via interactive workshops, this activity now occurs in all campuses of UWS.

'Dementia: through the eyes of a child' has been presented and disseminated at numerous local, national and international conferences and has been received positively. The research team includes 3 of my colleagues: Fiona Everett, Winifred McGarry and Wendy Wright.

I was instrumental in the concept and ongoing development of the award-winning Class in a bag (CIAB), an innovative, portable educational resource that is unique to UWS, this reaches out to community groups and schools to promote healthy lifestyles. The business case that was put forward to have the bags produced, resulted in several opportunities to further develop this initiative as an enterprise activity, and the topics developed for delivery have continued to expand the general health promotion subjects initially selected.

I continue to lead with initiation and maintenance of links between the University and the community in a variety of environments; care homes, schools, and community groups, which is impactful in widening public awareness demonstrated with established links with local Education Authorities within all Scottish campuses, along with increasing public and community links and UWS recognition.

This was established within the BSc C12 programme and is now embedded within the BSc (H) C20 Part 2 module. Awards attained evidence the contribution and wider community and partnership engagement; Dementia: CIAB: Scottish Dementia Awards 2016: Best Educational Initiative; The Herald Higher Education Awards 2015: Shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution.

Following discussions with colleagues within The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP), Dementia: CIAB was developed. The Dementia: CIAB resource provides children with a transformational dementia learning experience. It teaches them to become dementia aware, socially responsible citizens, while at the same time, provides UWS nursing students with the opportunity to learn inter-professional communication skills, by taking the resource into classrooms. Working with our colleagues in ASCPP, Dementia: CIAB generates a steady income through the Dementia Champions programme.

This adaptable resource has also been used to support others to learn about dementia, including family carers, volunteers, and care home staff. Since 2012, more than 10,000 schoolchildren have learned from over 2,400 students about dementia.

This contributes to the development of ‘dementia aware’ children and Scottish Dementia Friendly Communities. It also fulfils specific knowledge and skills requirements of all health and social care staff from the Promoting Excellence Knowledge and Skills Framework for Scotland (2021).

Dementia: CIAB has been recognised as pioneering work evidenced by winning the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) (2020), a first for UWS. This award recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. 

My publications focus on developing student education and sharing good practice, and my clinical knowledge combined with my expertise from working within intensive care, I have been published in credible nursing textbooks which are now core textbooks within our curricula.

I was Project Lead in the creation and development of UWS Primary Care simulation environment: A Community Orientated Resource for Nursing (ACORN). Positive evaluation of this resulted in full investment and integration across all UWS campuses. 

ACORN is a bespoke and innovative facility which provides pre and post registration nursing and midwifery students the opportunity to experience, through simulation, the importance of delivering safe, timely and quality care within the primary care environment to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

I have presented this at national and international conferences, and supported undergraduate students presenting at national conferences, winning first time presenters’ prize. Additionally, I regularly lead and support students to exhibit skills resources to external partners/Scottish ministerial/Chief Nursing Officer Scotland visits.

As one of only 4 accredited trainers in UWS of Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care© (PAC©), I am responsible for training others in the provision of dementia awareness, enhancing knowledge and skills with application in a variety of ways and environments.

Working in conjunction with ASCPP, PAC© has been modified and developed into Care Empathia which follows some of the principles of PAC©, and these have been embedded within the BSc and MSc adult and mental health nursing programmes, as well as delivering externally to NHS and care home providers, helping to promotes UWS credibility, and showcasing our resources while providing income generation and enterprise opportunities.


Area of academic expertise - outline

Areas of interest include; dementia, primary care simulation and clinical skills. Simulation Champion. Acute care.

Role responsibilities include; Programme Lead for MSc Adult Nursing  students.

Desired research direction

Areas of interest include: continuing to explore dementia awareness and the impact this has.

Clinical skills - acute and primary care involving simulation.

Developing education, collaborative working and ensuring students needs are met.

Target collaborative companies


Target collaborative companies

NHS. NHS Education for Scotland. QNIS.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Primary care simulation,

Acute care and simulation,

Clinical skills,

Older adult - enhancing care, delivering focused care.

Highlighting Dementia awareness

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

External positions

External Examiner, University of the Highlands and Islands

2022 → …


  • RT Nursing
  • Dementia, primary care, simulation


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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