Professor in Clinical Decision Making; Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, UK





I am currently Professor in Clinical Decision Making in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, School of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester, UK.  As an academic, I spend my time teaching nursing students, carrying out research and working to promote nursing informatics in the UK (through my membership of the Royal College of Nursing eHealth forum). My area of academic expertise is clinical decision making, including the use of decision support systems. I am not actually trained in nursing informatics, but I have developed an increasing interest in the role of technology in decision making, in terms of decision support, and how technology influences decision making when it has been implemented.

My interest in this area I think comes from two different sources.  Firstly, the influence of my father, who bought one of the earliest computers and encouraged myself and my sister to learn how to write basic computer programs.  I think that this meant I recognized early on in my career how computers could help with certain tasks, and that I wasn’t frightened of them.  After I left school, I studied a course at City University and St Bartholomew’s College of Nursing and Midwifery in the UK, where I completed a shortened RN training and a BSc in Psychology and Nursing Studies.  It was my experiences as a Psychology student which instigated an interest in research, and in exploring the ways in which people think.

Without my love and appreciation of research from my degree, I would never have applied for my research position, working with Professor Rosemary Crow at Surrey University, UK on a study exploring nursing assessment.  This is where my interest in decision making was born, and it has been a focus of my research ever since.  I studied for a PhD at Surrey University and then worked for a time at Stirling University and then at York University.  Over this period of my career, I was focused on the area of clinical decision making and the use of evidence in practice, rather than decision support.  However, things changed in 2005 when I was the recipient of a grant from the Department of Health in England, to explore how the use of decision support technology influenced nurse decision making behavior.  This introduced me to the world of nursing informatics, and this is now where I carry out my research, focusing on the use of technology and decision making.  I was also the recipient of a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice in 2009-2010, where I had the opportunity of spending a year working at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. This experience crystallized my thinking on the role of technology as an enabler for nursing practice and led to my move in 2013 to work at Columbia University School of Nursing, and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY).  Whilst at Columbia and the VNSNY I had the privilege to work with some of the leading academics in nursing informatics in the USA, and further develop my research program in the field of developing technology to enable nursing practice.  On my move back to Manchester in 2018, I am focusing on how to develop this further in a UK setting.