Dr. Stephanie Heys

Senior Lecturer

School of Nursing


+44 (0) 1772 89 1720


Subject Areas: Nursing and Midwifery

Stephanie is a nurse and midwife with an interest in birth trauma and perinatal mental health amongst disadvantaged and vulnerable women. An avid social activist, her research interest include critical pedagogical approaches to healthcare education using immersive technologies and action research methods. 


Full Profile

Dr Stephanie Heys is a registered Nurse, Midwife and senior nurse lecturer whilst also working for the CQC as a specialist advisor in maternity, obstetrics and acute nursing care. Stephanie has worked for the last ten years in East Lancashire in both Nursing and Midwifery roles.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research, her doctoral studies focused on reducing traumatic birth experiences through the design and delivery of an immersive educational programme for maternity professions, sensitising them to the potential for birth trauma amongst disadvantaged and vulnerable women. Experience includes working with industry, international organisations and key stakeholders in maternity focused on enhancing interpersonal care, utilising experiential educational approaches.

Postdoctoral interests include the exploration of (dis)respectful maternity care and the role immersive education can play in addressing structural, systemic and interpersonal relations to improve women’s experiences. Stephanie also has an interest in simulated education, utilizing virtual reality technologies during her PhD to simulate the critical embodiment of the other to illuminate dehumanizing healthcare practices.

Alongside her lecturing role Stephanie is currently working on an international project with the International Confederation of Midwives focused of the design and delivery of respectful care workshops in low-income countries. Human rights, maternal mental health and the psych-social needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable women in maternity services remain key areas of interest for future research projects.


  • DipHE in Adult Nursing
  • BSc (Hons)Midwifery
  • Post Graduate Certificate with Distinction (Midwifery) 
  • PhD in Midwifery Studies
  • Associate Fellowship of The Higher Education Academy

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • Senior Lecturer in the school of Nursing teaching across the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


Taylor, k., Heys, s., & Evans, j. (2015). 2. Newly Qualified Midwives. The Practising Midwife, 18(10), 46-51

…Heys, S., Thomson, G., Downe, S., & McKeown, M. Reducing traumatic birth experiences; immersive education for midwives–‘bringing research to life’.

Research Activities


  • NIHR ‘Health Education England (HEE) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme’ London, Earls Court 2016. – Poster Presentation.
  • Leeds digital festival ‘Immersive Reality: Realising the Benefits in Health’ 2017 – Presentation 
  • Advanced HE NET conference presentation, Knutsford 2019
  • Freire conference Cyprus 2017 – Presentation ‘Reducing traumatic birth experiences for disadvantaged women through improved awareness, attitudes, behaviours and practices among maternity professionals’
  • ICM Toronto, Canada 2017 -  ‘I know My Place’ An exploration of Disadvantaged and Vulnerable women’s experience of maternity care in high income countries.’ A Meta-Synthesis.


  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Full Member of the Royal College of Midwives
  • Full Member of Unison
  • Full Member of UCU
  • Registered specialist advisor in Maternity, Obstetrics & Gynaecology with the Care Quality Commission

External Affiliations and Roles

  • The Care Quality Commission