Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Heather is a registered nurse who completed a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) in 1996 at the University of British Columbia and initially worked on surgical and medical wards in Vancouver, Canada and London, England.  She then went on to complete her critical care nursing education in 2000 at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby, Canada and worked on intensive care units as a clinical nurse in both Vancouver, Canada and Brighton, England.

Heather began teaching as a visiting lecturer at the University of Brighton in 2003 while still working clinically in critical care.  In 2007, Heather took on a permanent teaching position at the University of Brighton to lead the intensive care modules in the Continuing Professional Education programme which she has continued to do ever since.  She is also the BSc (Hons) Clinical Practice degree course leader.

Additional qualifications achieved by Heather from the University of Brighton include a Post Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Education (2007), MSc Clinical Studies and Education (2010), Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology (2013) and PhD (2018).

Heather has twice received the Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning award at the University of Brighton, as nominated by students and colleagues, and obtained a Senior Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy.  In 2020, she achieved the University of Brighton's Rising Star research award. Heather is a member of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses Southern Region committee.

Supervisory Interests

Heather is interested in supervising PhD, MSc and MRes students researching topics related to critical care clinical practice, the sustainability of healthcare and the use of simulation within healthcare education.

She has experience planning and conducting her own research, as well as supervising research students, in a variety of different qualitative and quantitative methods such as constructivist grounded theory, cross-sectional survey, qualitative descriptive analysis, case study, evaluation and mixed methods approaches within the research design.

Research interests

Sustainable healthcare practice

Heather is particularly interested in researching the sustainability of critical care practice to generate a more robust evidence-based to inform how to maintain quality critical care while sufficing within the limits of available environmental, financial and social resources.  Her PhD thesis presented a conceptual framework of sustainability in critical care based on qualitative grounded theory research which explored the subjective perspective of people working in critical care.  The PhD research findings are now being used to develop further studies focused on environmental sustainability under the umbrella title of the GREEN-ICU research project (GREeater ENvironmental sustainability in Intensive Care Units).  Heather is leading the GREEN-ICU research studies as a collaborative project, with the first phase currently in the proposal stage.

Heather is an active member of the School of Health Sciences Sustainability Special Interest Group which includes planning and delivering the annual SHARE conference to provide researchers, clinicians, academics and students an opportunity to disseminate research and enterprise outputs related to sustainability and health or healthcare practice.

In addition to research about reducing the carbon footprint of healthcare, Heather is also interested in the interlinks between financial and social sustainability of critical care.  Social sustainability includes sustaining staff as a people resource, and she recognises the need for further research about the resilience, agility and durability of staff to promote a healthy and flourishing workforce of healthcare practitioners. 

Critical care clinical practice and education

Heather has further research interests in clinical practice and education related to critical care nursing, drawing from her previous experience as a clinical nurse and her current role leading the Intensive Care Pathway at the University of Brighton.  She is interested in collaborating with other critical care researchers on projects addressing clinical outcomes, as well as patient and family experiences during the intensive care unit, rehabilitation and recovery stages of critical illness or injury.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Sustainabiltiy in critical care practice, University of Brighton


Award Date: 29 Mar 2019

Post Graduate Certificate Research Methodology


Award Date: 3 Jun 2013

Master, MSc Clinical Studies and Education, University of Brighton


Award Date: 23 Nov 2010

Postgraduate Certificate in Health and Social Care Education, University of Brighton

Award Date: 28 Nov 2007

Bachelor, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of British Columbia


Award Date: 15 May 1996

External positions

BACCN Southern Region Committee

2019 → …

External Examiner, University of West London


External Examiner, Coventry University



  • RT Nursing
  • Intensive Care
  • Critical Care
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development


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