Category Archives: UK

Postgraduate Research Student Lunchtime Seminars

The school now has monthly lunch time seminars in which our PGR students present their work to date in a supportive environment. Please find attached the poster advert for June 13th. We would welcome anyone to come along and support our PGR students.

Feedback on the recent day long PGR student symposium last month was that more events such as this would be helpful to their PG student journey and would help foster the research culture they need to succeed and enjoy their work.

Look forward to seeing everyone there and the dialogue that these presentations will encourage!

Download the flyer below:

Postgraduate Research Student Lunchtime Seminars


Getting back to my roots!

By Dr. Flora Douglas, Reader, School of Nursing and Midwifery

It’s been a great pleasure to find myself at the start of my second week in post as a new Reader in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, as inspired and excited as I was since gaining the appointment some weeks ago. My new start coincided with the SNM 2nd annual Post Graduate Research symposium on the 23rd May. The symposium’s keynote presentation delivered by Prof. Kadar Parahoo from Ulster University set the tone for the day, i.e. as a relaxed, supportive but highly informative event. His talk on ‘Building a Research Career’ touched on issues and topics familiar to me (as someone who has worked academia in Scotland and Australia) yet at the same time, gave fresh perspective and inspiration.

The symposium itself proved to be a marvellous show case event for post graduate students’ research projects, enabling me to get very quick ‘handle’ on the range of innovative research work that is currently taking place at RGU in the areas of adult nursing, midwifery and mental health. The topics presented during the symposium ranged from: 1. Maternity service-user involvement in midwifery education, 2. Use of film as a media for investigating stigma associated with mental health with young people, 3. Health and social integration and service user experiences in north east Scotland, 4. Exploration of notions of palliative care for patients with heart failure, 5. Older adults with functional mental illness and their service use experiences, to name but a few of the impressive range of subject areas covered.

Reflecting on the symposium, and my first full week in post, I am pleased to find that while I’ve been working predominantly in public health and public health research over the past couple of decades, the skills and research interests I’ve gained since qualifying as a nurse from Glasgow University in the ‘80s – particularly as they relate my research interests in understanding the impact of food poverty on long term condition management, and, maternal and child health – fit well here. And therefore, I’m very happy indeed to have journeyed ‘Back to my Roots’ here at RGU, and am really looking forward to taking part in the life and work of this vibrant and welcoming nursing community over the coming years.

Research Seminars

The research team are running a series of Research Seminars, which is currently showcasing the Phd research of our most recently qualified doctors. The seminars aim to highlight research carried out by school staff and our external colleagues, with a focus on health and social care.

The winter – spring session kicked off in mid-December with Dr Steve Smith presenting his PhD study in a talk entitled ‘Solution Focus: What is it good for?’ He eloquently led the audience through his study of the use of solution focused brief therapy by nurses, and enthused with his thoughts on being immersed in the research process.  The resulting discussion with the audience could have gone on all night.  Readers may view Steve’s presentation by clicking this link: (60 sec download time)

The seminar series continues in February with Dr Heather Bain presenting her work on the unique knowing of district nurses :

Heather’s session will also be available to view in this blog by the end of February. But, if you would like to come along to this session in person then all you need to do is contact Heather Nicolson

The seminars run between 4-5pm and are usually on a Monday or Tuesday. Come along for tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits beforehand and be prepared to have your enthusiasm for research lit or rekindled.


Return to Practice

Minister meets students completing course.

Nearly 200 former nurses and midwives are expected to return to practice this year – more than double the aim of a Scottish Government-funded scheme.

Over 40 participants have already completed Return to Practice programmes in 2015, allowing them to retrain and re-enter the nursing and midwifery workforce.

Today (Monday), the Public Health Minister saw the programme in action in NHS Grampian, where students are paid a salary during their clinical placement hours and guaranteed a job on completion.

Maureen Watt visited Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen where she met current students and scheme mentors and managers, as well as university and NHS Grampian officials.

Ms Watt said:

“I’m delighted to see first-hand the work underway in NHS Grampian to retrain former nurses and midwives under our national Return to Practice scheme.

“Earlier this year we announced investment of £450,000 over three years to encourage former nurses and midwives back into the profession. This will enable around 75 former nurse and midwives to retrain each year and re-enter employment.

“There has already been significant interest in the scheme here in Grampian and across Scotland. Today I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of those who have decided to retrain and to re-join our nursing workforce. They will bring a wealth of previous experience with them and will be an asset to our health and social care workforce.

“In addition we have funded an increase in the number of nurses and midwives in training again this year by a further three per cent, on top of the six per cent increase the Scottish Government announced last year. This is the kind of careful long term planning and investment our NHS needs and shows our commitment to increasing the numbers of qualified nurses and midwives in our hospitals now as well as planning for the future.”

Professor Ian Murray, Head of RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery said:

“The Return to Practice Nursing course is just one example of how Robert Gordon University and NHS Grampian are working together to enhance the healthcare workforce by providing dynamic and clinically relevant education.

“The current Return to Practice Nursing cohort has found the course challenging but also very rewarding both personally and professionally; the course is bringing highly skilled and experienced nurses back into the workforce which can only be good for the quality of patient care.”

June Brown, NHS Grampian Associate Director of Nursing (Modernisation) said:

“We are delighted to be working collaboratively with Robert Gordon University to deliver Return to Practice (RTP). We were aware of nurses who wanted to return to the profession but the location of courses and the financial challenges involved were a barrier. By developing a local course with an employment model we are overcoming that barrier.

“We interview applicants jointly and, if accepted, we place them in a clinical area where we know there will be vacancy for them at the end of the course. During their practice placement they are paid a basic wage. They are also able to work on the nurse bank as a healthcare support worker to supplement any loss of salary during the course.

“I am thrilled at the progress made by the first cohort of students and look forward to meeting the second group when they start in January.”


• Return to Practice is a Scottish Government funded scheme (£450,000 additional funding over three years, commencing April 2015), administered by NHS Education for Scotland. It is intended to attract experienced nurses and midwives who have left the service back into the profession, enabling them to retrain and to re-enter employment.

• Each year, up to 100 former midwives and nurses will be able to apply to have their university programme fees fully paid (£1,500)

• Initial cohorts of Return to Practice students started in summer 2015 and over 40 registrants have already completed RtP programmes this year.

• The Scottish Government set a target of at least 75 funded RtP places in 2015/16, but it is anticipated that nearly 200 former registrants will take up the opportunity this year. The extra places in 2015/16 will be fully funded.

• Participation in the national RtP programme is one aspect of NHS Grampian’s wider strategy to ensure a sustainable nursing and midwifery workforce.

Norovirus Season

As norovirus season is now with us.  As a student nurse you need to be aware that there has been an increase in the levels of norovirus reported to Health Protection Scotland by NHS boards and that NHS boards are now implementin their active norovirus plans.

Further information on norovirus including links to the Stay at Home Campaign and Top Tips can be found at  Please make yourself familiar with these.

A team of health and information science academics at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have launched a new website which will act as a central access point to nursing doctoral and masters’ theses and dissertations from across the globe.

With support from RGU’s Library Service and a team of international collaborators, staff from RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, have designed and launched the International Network for Electronic Theses and Dissertations in Nursing (INETDIN).

Dr Colin Macduff, Head of Research and Scholarly Activity at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This new network provides a much needed forum for exchange of information amongst nursing practitioners from around the world.

“During the past five years our international research with colleagues in Duquesne University, USA and Curtin University, Australia has found that there are thousands of nursing theses and dissertations available online but very few people know how to access them.

“Our new RGU-based website draws together best information and evidence in such a way that it will be a key resource for nurse scholars worldwide.”

Dr Susan Copeland, Information Resources Manager in RGU’s Library Service, added: “RGU is a leading voice in the open access to electronic theses and dissertations movement, and this project is a great example of joint working within RGU and across international boundaries.”

The network will be officially launched in the Journal of Advanced Nursing and with presentations over the next four months at international conferences in Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and New Delhi.


Promoting Excellence in the Pre Registration Nursing Programme Using High Fidelity Simulation

What is our ambition?
To promote excellence in dementia care in the pre – registration nursing programme (years 1 – 4) that enhances nursing care of patients, families and carers affected by dementia. Teaching the “real” challenges patients with dementia, their families / carers face. To promote person centred care in all aspects of nursing practice – getting it right for everyone.

What is high fidelity mask simulation?
This involves an educator creating a plausible scenario that students relate to in a safe environment i.e. within the University where vulnerable people can be protected. For example simulation of learning how to do a blood pressure would be taught in class and then practised on each other and patient volunteers in our clinical skills centre (mock ward area). High fidelity mask simulation, we think has the potential to create the appropriate credible scenarios around a variety of complex areas in nursing practice that are critical to student nurses learning and patient care. The masked educator wears a mask of an elderly lady, dresses and behaves in character throughout any interactions.

 How do we propose to do this?
Create the character and her life story. Then build in a natural sequence of events a person with dementia may encounter, where nurses would be involved in either hospital or home care settings. For example: being admitted to hospital with a possible infection or perhaps after a fall. The masked educator is a nurse with experience of caring for patients, families and carers affected by dementia, therefore can create scenarios based on lived experience; directing the students learning journey. The character  is intended to have a diagnosis of dementia  and has a carer who is a constant within the scenario we plan to create. The person playing the role of the carer is the Lecturer for older adults in the school of nursing, who also has extensive experience in caring for patients, families and carers affected by dementia.

 Why do we want to do it this way?
We believe you can teach about care and compassion but there is cynicism in the general public about how Universities manage to do this. Therefore we need to be creative as books alone will not completely prepare our future nurses.

What you think about this approach?

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • Would you be able to help us enhance this initiative?
  • Who, amongst you would be interested in working alongside us on this project.

If you want any further information on this please contact us.

Katrina Whittingham,
Theme Leader for Person Centred Care/ Adult Nursing Lecturers,
01224 262984,


Una Lyon,
Lecturer for Older Adult,
01224 262920,