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Dr. Karen M Wright

Head of School of Nursing

School of Nursing

Brook Building, BB434

+44 (0) 1772 89 3637

Karen is a nurse (mental health and adult fields), qualitative researcher and academic. Her recent most research/ teaching activities have focussed on the therapeutic relationship, personality disorder , eating disorder services, attitudes to violence and aggression and service user involvement.

Social Media

LinkedIn: Karen Margaret Wright

Full Profile

  • PhD
  • MA Interprofessional Issues in Health and Welfare
  • PGCert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education
  • PGCert Research Methods
  • PGCert Personality Disorder
  • BSc(Comb) Hons: Nursing/Health
  • Diploma in Eating Disorders (Distinction)
  • Registered Mental Nurse
  • Registered General Nurse
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Karen leads the School of Nursing at UCLan. She firmly believes that both nurses and educators seek to help the person to be the best they can possibly be, and employs this philosophy throughout her work, both academic and clinical. Karen’s approach is dynamic and innovative as maintaining a contemporary and evidence based approach is absolutely crucial to ensure that the service user is provided with the best possible.

Her career has spanned over thirty years and has included a diverse range of clinical experience from cardio-thoracic surgery to her last clinical post as Nurse Consultant for Personality Disorder at Ashworth High Security Hospital in Merseycare NHS Trust.
Karen’s PhD thesis ‘An interpretative phenomenological study of the therapeutic relationship occurring between women admitted to eating disorder services and their workers’ established her position that the therapeutic relationship is pivotal to assisting the person with anorexia to commence on their journey to recovery and survival.


Wright, KM & Shroeder, D. (2016) Turning the Tables: The Vulnerability of Nurses Treating Anorexia Nervosa Patients. Cambridge Quarterly. 25 (2) 219-227

Emma Jones & Wright, K.M. (2015) ‘They’re really PD today’: An exploration of mental health nursing students’ perceptions of developing a therapeutic relationship with service users with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology first published on July 13, 2015 as doi:10.1177/0306624X15594838

Baverstock S and Wright K.M. (2015) Borderline personality disorder in young people: the perspectives of frontline professionals in child and adolescent mental health. Mental Health Nursing 35(4): 14-19.

Mckeown, M. Wright, K.M. et al (2014) It’s the talk: A study of involvement initiatives in secure mental health settings. Health Expectations. Article first published online: 7 JUL 2014DOI: 10.1111/hex.12232

More publications


Wright K (2000) How do Professionals Working within Mental Health Services Perceive Crisis Unpublished, Qualitative Study for MA: Interprofessional Issues in Health and Welfare.

To ascertain what factors influence the police decision to remove a person from a public place to a place of safety under Section 136 (Mental Health Act 1983) Principal Investigator: Karen Wright Co-investigator: Ivan McGlen 2008.

The administration of medication on acute in-patient mental health wards: Principal Investigator: Joy Duxbury, Co-investigators: Karen Wright, (UCLan) & Catherine Fewster, Chief Pharmacist Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. Submitted to the British Academy - £80,000 FEC.

An Evaluation of the Implementation, Management and Impact of service user involvement initiatives in secure care, Yorkshire & Humber. PI: Mick Mckeown. Co-investigators: Karen Wright, Helen Spandler, Fiona Jones, Graham Browning. 2012.

The study of therapeutic relationships and recovery within an eating disorder service. PI: Karen Wright- current PhD study. (submit January 2013)


Trustee for the International Institute for Special Needs Offenders
Member of Mental Health Academics UK
Member of the MH Qualitative Research Network.
Research Ethics Committee member
Royal College of Nursing
Registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council

Journal Reviewer for:
The International Journal for Mental Health
The Journal of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
The British Journal of Nursing
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.
The Journal of Child Health Care
Mental Health Practice

External examining:
University of Galway: Sept 2011 –May 2015
Edge Hill University: Sept 2012- July 2015
Kings College , London: 2014-

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

MSc/PGDip/PGCert Personality Disorder (course leader 2003-2013)

I teach on a range of modules and courses, from pre-registration to post graduate.

Research supervisor for MSc, MRes, ProfDoc & PhD students.