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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

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. https://www.england.nhs.uk/nursingmidwifery/research-and-evidence/research-portfolio/


Further Information

In her role as NMC/Mott Macdonald QA RV Sarah has completed two programme approval visits and prepared the required NMC Programme Approval Reports - March 2020 and May 2022. 


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)

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, University of Stirling

13 Nov 201531 Dec 2099

Award Date: 13 Nov 2015

Nursing, PGCert, University of Dundee

Sep 2003Jun 2005

Award Date: 1 Jun 2005

Nursing, MSc, University of Edinburgh

Sep 1992Sep 1994

Award Date: 1 Sep 1994

Nursing Studies, BSc, University of Edinburgh

Sep 1984Sep 1988

Award Date: 1 Sep 1988

External positions

Leeds Beckett University

1 Nov 202131 Oct 2025

Mott MacDonald

Sep 201831 Aug 2023


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