Karen 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 both her academic and clinical work. Karen’s approach is dynamic and innovative as maintaining a contemporary and evidence-based approach which is absolutely crucial to ensuring that the service user is provided with the best possible approaches to their care.
As Professor of Nursing she is an active researcher herself and is the Director of Studies for students undertaking their doctorate research. Since 2003 Karen has worked with colleagues and stakeholders to develop a range of curricula, including the Pre-registration Nursing programmes, (traditional route and apprenticeship routes), MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, MSc Personality Disorder, PGCert Investigating Serious Incidents, PGCert Conflict and Violence Minimisation, Pre-registration Nursing Programme and one of the first FdSc Nursing Associate programmes in the UK. Nursing is a dynamic and progressive profession, and this has motivated Karen to create contemporary and evidence-based education and training to enhance the profession and the experience of the service user. She also provides internal and external PhD examinations.
Her career has spanned nearly 40 years and has included a diverse range of clinical experience from cardio-thoracic surgery, post qualifying, to her last clinical post as Nurse Consultant for Personality Disorder at Ashworth High Security Hospital in Merseycare NHS Trust, and currently as a CBT psychotherapist. In that time, she had led and developed services which have been transformed both practice and care. Some examples of such evidence-based innovation in clinical settings include an in-service training for urgent care and mental health services across Chorley and South Ribble. This focussed on responding to ‘Self harm’ at a time when research and resources were scarce in this area (1996) and hence the care and treatment were poorly informed; establishing a specialised Palliative Care Unit for people in late stage dementia in 1998, and one of the first ‘Crisis Intervention Teams’ in the UK, in 2000, which drew on the findings of her research into ‘How mental health professionals perceive crisis’ for her MA in Interprofessional Issues in Health and Welfare. 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. In addition to her educational leadership and clinical consultancy Karen is a qualified cognitive behavioural psychotherapist and nurse consultant for an in-patient Eating Disorder Service, ensuring that evidence-based practice is delivered and that her work is grounded in the real experience of service users, their families and their care team.