Personal profile

Research interests

Transcultural nursing and transcultural education: Comprising the development of cultural competence and humility, culture and health, global health and global healthcare. Development of healthcare education in low and lower-middle income countries. Virtual approaches to transcultural education and pedagogy of study abroad. Learning and teaching methodologies and concepts such as transformative learning, internationalisation, global citizenship, threshold concepts in nursing, virtual exchange, global healthcare development using participatory approaches.


Debra has over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, including 20+years in the role of senior lecturer / assistant professor in the field of nurse education. Debra has also served terms as Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Director of International Development and Recruitment (Principal Lecturer), and Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Director of Transnational Education.

Debra's area of expertise is framed as ‘transcultural nursing, education and research’. Debra has generated, published and implemented evidence-based pedagogy to develop, lead and teach programmes and modules that impact on nursing practice in the UK and globally, including low and lower-middle income countries. Debra has also led on projects to investigate and develop cultural competence and global citizenship in nursing, with an overarching aim to develop healthcare education globally and to reduce global health inequality.

Debra has research expertise in qualitative approaches and in particular hermeneutic phenomenology (HP). Debra developed a modified approach to data analysis suitable for multiple context HP research. She has also undertaken commissioned mixed methods service evaluation work and is a member of the university Global Development Futures interdisciplinary research group. Debra provides PhD supervision and is a PhD examiner. Debra's educational expertise includes design and leadership of international programmes, transcultural teaching expertise, international student well-being and support and international educational consultancy work, including design of novel virtual consultancy models for low and lower-middle income countries. Debra has expertise in the pedagogy of student and staff mobility, including virtual exchange, and leads the departments mobility programme which seeks to support students to develop cultural competence and humility, to progress as global graduates and as global citizens. Debra is also an active member of a global community of practitioners and co-leads the Advance HE network 'Authentic Learning for Global Citizenship'.

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
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Learning in Liminality: A hermeneutic phenomenological investigation of student nurse learning during a study abroad journey, Northumbria University


Award Date: 31 Aug 2018

Academic Studies in Education, MA

30 Jun 201131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2011

Education, PGCE

30 Jun 200431 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2004


30 Jun 200131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2001

Health, MSc

30 Jun 200031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2000

Health Studies, BSc (Hons)

30 Jun 199531 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 1995

External positions

University of Brighton

1 Oct 202330 Sept 2027

University of Central Lancashire

1 Sept 2020 → …

Advance HE Network Lead 'Authentic Learning for Global Citizenship'


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