Research Interests: chronic kidney disease, palliative care, qualitative research methods, mixed methods, end of life care.
My research expertise is in nephrology nursing particularly related to those approaching the end of life. My research and teaching interests lie in patient and carer experience and my research constitutes a contribution to health care management in those with advanced chronic kidney disease requiring a palliative care approach. Prior to taking up a Lectureship post at Queens University Belfast (QUB), I worked as a nephrology Ward Manager, Matron and Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist before embarking on a PhD and a subsequent Lectureship post at City University London.
My PhD used practitioner research to explore the experiences of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease who decline dialysis. In London I worked closely with clinicians including Professor Magdi Yaqoob at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London and Professor Julienne Meyer, CBE, at City University, London and taught on the pre-registration nursing programme.
In 2010 I took up my post at QUB in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and worked on several projects with a number of accomplished renal clinicians throughout Northern Ireland and the UK.
In 2014 I was awarded a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellowship mentored by Professor Magdi Yaqoob (London), Professor Peter Maxwell (Northern Ireland) and Professor Charles Normand (Dublin). The research is multicentre across Northern Ireland and the UK. The Fellowship of £513,000 supports the PACKS study exploring quality of life, decision making, costs and impact on carers in patients with advanced kidney disease managed without dialysis.
I have presented nationally and internationally and have over 60 publications. I have been awarded several awards for my work, including a Fujimaki Scholarship Award, European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association/European Renal Care, International Journal of Palliative Nursing (2007) Renal Supportive Care Service, Highly Commended (2008), British Journal of Renal Medicine Awards (2008), World Scientists Forum for "Eminent Scientist of the year 2009" International Award in the field of Nephrology and City University Staff Research Prize (2009).I am a Grant Reviewer for The NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), based at the University of Southampton which manages evaluation research programmes and activities for the NIHR.
In 2013 I co-chaired the School’s SWAN Committee prior to taking up my Fellowship which promotes women in science and academic careers. I co-lead the Nursing and Midwifery Research Internship Scheme. This offers pre-registration nursing and midwifery students with an interest in an academic career, the opportunity to ‘shadow’ a researcher and has had noticeable success with some students publishing their work, and others commencing a PhD.
I am a member of the International Scientific Advisory Panel member, RCN annual international nursing research conference, Northern Ireland Palliative Care Research Forum Committee Member. I am a Scientific Progamme Committee Member for the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association (EDTNA) and was previous Chair (2011-2014). I am Associate Editor at ‘Evidence Based Nursing’ and manage the ‘Resources Page’and ‘Facebook Page’, write blogs and host Twitter Chats. I am also a committee member of a renal User and Carer Group with South Bank University.
I am module leader for the three post-graduate modules run at QUB including Nephrology Introductory Module; Renal Nursing and Renal Replacement Therapies. I am External Examiner at the University of Hertfordshire & Lincoln University College (Malaysia). I was awarded the Student Representative Award, City University London in 2010.
Out of work I am Chair of the local ‘Parents Network’ at the local Secondary school which works with children at school to promote optimal communication between staff, children and parents.