Personal profile


Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing Midwifery & Health. She has a breadth of experience in teaching, learning and scholarship gained from academic positions in two HEIs, the University of Stirling and now Northumbria University. Her knowledge and understanding of nursing and nurse education is also informed by 14 years of clinical practice in several Scottish NHS Trusts. 

Career achievements 

  • Expert in pre-registration nursing curriculum development, review and approval.  
  • Research strength across a variety of empirical research projects including clinical research, theory and policy driven qualitative research in the treatment and management of long-term health conditions (PhD 2015) and quantitative research on grading practice.   
  • She undertook departmental and professional leadership during the COVID pandemic (Jan 2020-Sept 2022).  
  • Diligent and detailed knowledge of quality assurance processes in pre-registration nurse education through 4 years of experience as NMC/Mott Macdonald QA Registrant Visitor. 

As well as her department roles Sarah is an experienced programme and module lead.  She's currently the module lead for a 60-credit dissertation module, NS0711 - developing nursing practice through research which sits in the final year of the MSc Nursing Science/RN programme. Sarah is an experienced personal tutor and provides professional and academic support to a group of students completing their pre-registration programme. 

Sarah has knowledge of international teaching through her contribution to the MCAST/Northumbria University Pre-Registration Nurse Programme. This international experience is informed by my teaching capabilities but also by previous clinical roles as a RN in Durban, South Africa. 

2018 – present NMC/Mott Macdonald QA Registrant Visitor. Sarah acts as an Registrant Visitor to ensure the quality assurance of education programmes for nurses and nursing associates across the UK.  

2021 - present External Examiner - Sarah is an external examiner for Pre-registration Adult Nursing, at Leeds Beckett University. 

Research interests

Sarah has a research portfolio and publication record across more than 20 years from 1997 to 2023. This has focused on her early clinical specialism working in a Vascular Unit in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and her time as a Research Assistant, with the then Scottish Executive Health Department. Her publications also focus on service redesign projects and research on the implementation of health policy to promote self-management in people with long-term conditions. 

Key areas of interest are the modernisation of healthcare and the role of social and health policy in supporting the requirement for greater responsiveness, improved patient-focus and new models of care delivery. This specialism builds on her time in clinical practice and subsequently refined in her PhD. Her thesis focused on the implementation of health policy promoting self-management for people with long term conditions, a priority area for health policy across the UK. Sarah has an in-depth knowledge of the health policy process, current themes and priorities in policy and recognises the importance of health policy on the practice of nursing.

Current areas of research 

2022 - Grading Practice - Leading research which is undertaking a quantitative exploratory study reporting on the application of a grading practice matrix across two cohorts of pre-registration nursing students.  

2022 - Non-Invasive Ventilation Outcomes score-directed Weaning (NIVOW) Part of the research team on this NIHR funded RCT. 

Further Information

2023 - present Recent research conference oral and poster presentations:

Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference, Keele, 5 July 2023. Oral presentation entitled 'Grading practice learning in pre-registration nursing: enabling a collaborative approach'. Authors: Sarah Annesley and Marco Tomietto.

RCN Education Conference, York, 24 April 2024. Oral presentation entitled 'Grading practice in undergraduate nurse education'. Authors: Sarah Annesley; Marco Tomietto; James Wade; and Leah Rosengarten. RCN 2024 Presentation abstract.

RCN International Nursing Research Conference, Manchester, 8 September 2023. Poster presentation entitled 'Grading practice as a strategy to improve proficiencies in undergraduate nurse education: modelling key areas of competence'. Authors: Sarah Annesley; Marco Tomietto; Alan Platt and James Wade. 


Further Information

2019 - present NMC/Mott Macdonald Quality Assurance (QA) Registrant Vistor (RV). In her role as a RV for NMC/Mott Macdonald Sarah has completed four programme approval visits, preparing NMC Programme Approval Reports in March 2020, May 2022, May 2023 and November 2023. 


Further Information

2022 - Council of Deans for Health Pandemic Powered Improvements: Best Practice In Innovative Healthcare Placements Created During the Pandemic. Contributed a case study to this report outlining our approach to practice learning during the pandemic.

Pandemic Powered Improvements (CoD of Health)

Further Information

2018 – 2019 A Research Portfolio – Transformational change by nursing, midwifery and care staff across health and care. Sarah was a contributing member of this national working group, which has produced the NHS England research portfolio. The purpose of the portfolio was to demonstrate the impact and contribution that nursing, midwifery and care staff can make to transforming health and care.


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

Education/Academic qualification

Nursing, PhD, A qualitative study of policy and action: How the Scottish Government has implemented self-management support for people with long-term conditions., University of Stirling

13 Nov 201531 Dec 2099

Award Date: 13 Nov 2015

Nursing, PGCert, Post Graduate Certificate in Practice Education - NMC registered lecturer/Practice Educator, University of Dundee

Sept 2003Jun 2005

Award Date: 1 Jun 2005

Nursing, MSc, Nursing and Health Studies, , University of Edinburgh

Sept 1992Sept 1994

Award Date: 1 Sept 1994

Nursing Studies, BSc, University of Edinburgh

Sept 1984Sept 1988

Award Date: 1 Sept 1988

External positions

Leeds Beckett University

1 Nov 202131 Oct 2025

Mott MacDonald

30 Aug 201831 Aug 2024


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