Since qualifying as a registered nurse Kathryn has worked in a variety of posts across both primary and secondary care. Kathryn’s professional interests lie in the community setting particularly general practice where she has worked as a practice nurse since 2003. After completing her community specialist practitioner course in 2007 she became a practice teacher and avid promoter of educational opportunities within practice nursing, focusing her master’s dissertation on the subject area. Kathryn taught as an ad hoc lecturer on the general practice nurse foundation course before taking up a full time teaching post at UCLan in 2016. She continues to work within the clinical environment. Her interests lie within chronic disease management, specifically diabetes and respiratory disease.
Kathryn has recently contributed to a chapter in the 3rd edition of The Text Book of Non-Medical Prescribing (Nuttall & Rutt Howard, 2016) and has been published in several nursing journals. Kathryn has presented posters on Transition from Children’s to Adult Community Services and the recently published RCN GPN best practice guidelines in managing childhood immunisation clinics. As a member of the RCN GPN Forum Committee she has attended numerous events as part of her role, including the RCN Congress in May 2019 where she was involved in a fringe event on social prescribing in general practice. In order to raise awareness of the benefits of social prescribing and highlight the role of the nurse in improving patient care, in November 2019 Kathryn and a colleague from the RCN GPN Forum developed the RCN social prescribing clinical pages. These provide a range of resources, links and guidelines for the successful introduction of social prescribing in a variety of settings. Ritchie, G., Smyth, K. and Chester, J. (2017) Using the Transition from Children’s to Adult Community Services Learning Resource (QNI) to facilitate an Interdisciplinary Learning Set. Poster Presentation, The Queen’s Nursing Institute Transition of Care Conference. Smyth, K and Chester, J. (2019) Paediatric to adult services: are they lost in transition? Journal of Community Nursing, 33(1). RCN General Practice Nurse Forum (2018): Best practice guidelines for managing childhood vaccination and immunisation clinics. Poster Presentation, The Queen’s Nursing Institute Annual Conference. Smyth, K and Pickering J. (2019) Nurse led social prescribing. Does it work? RCN Congress fringe event. Social Prescribing Clinical Skills Resource RCN (2019). Available here. Rutt-Howard, J. & Smyth, K. (2020) Clinical Skills (Chapter 7) in: Nuttall, D. & Rutt-Howard, J. (Eds) (2020) The Textbook of Non-Medical Prescribing (3rd Edition). Chichester. Wiley Blackwell
Kathryn has developed educational opportunities for general practice nurses across her locality. Increasing placement opportunities for student nurses within general practice is high on her agenda and she is working to identify practice nurses and clinical environments that are keen to develop mentorship opportunities. Through her role at the university and in clinical practice, Kathryn provides mentorship and educational support. Kathryn contributes to local GPN conferences and is an active member of the North West Practice Nurse Association, using this as a platform to share information and support colleagues. As part of her role within the Academic Association of GPN Educators, Kathryn has contributed to the consultation on the Queen's Nursing Institute Education and Practice Standards for Senior General Practice Nurses and the Voluntary Standards for Nurses New to General Practice Nursing. As a member of this professional group Kathryn aims to influence the standardisation of GPN education and access to educational opportunities across the UK.
- BSc Nursing Studies, First Class Honours, St Martins College, Lancaster, 2001
- Postgraduate Diploma Community Nursing Specialist Practitioner-General Practice Nursing, University of Central Lancashire, 2007
- Post graduate Certificate Practice Teacher, University of Central Lancashire, 2008
- Master of Science with Distinction in Practice Enhancement General Practice Nursing, University of Central Lancashire, 2011, Dissertation title: ‘An Investigation into the Perceptions of General Practice Nurses in Accessing Educational Opportunities’
- Advanced Certificate with Distinction in Non-Medical Prescribing, University of Central Lancashire, 2015
- Postgraduate Certificate for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Central Lancashire, 2019
- In 2017 Kathryn was awarded the title of a Queens’s Nurse by the Queen's Nursing Institute for her commitment to learning and leadership in community nursing.
- Kathryn teaches on a wide variety of modules specific to community practice including the Non Medical Prescribing course. She has been involved in redesigning the clinical skills aspect of the NMP programme and the NMC revalidation approval in line with the new standards. Kathryn is passionate about general practice nursing and providing educational opportunities for nurses working in this sector. Since starting her role in education she has undertaken a scoping exercise using focus groups with members from the local community nurse forum, collecting data to help develop new educational opportunities and a BSc & MSc pathway. Kathryn was part of a team that successfully won a bid to provide a bespoke return to practice programme for practice nurses and is currently involved in teaching and supporting these students. Within her teaching role Kathryn facilitates the involvement of Comensus and service users, providing students with the opportunity to access education which incorporates lived experience. Working at the university has enabled Kathryn to act upon her research findings and move practice forward, providing real opportunities for nurses to access education and continue their professional learning journeys.
- Member of the Royal College of Nursing, General Practice Nursing Forum Steering Committee and the Association of Academic General Practice Nurse Educators
- Fellow of The Higher Education Academy