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Nursing and Health Policy, Patient Safety, Health Professions Education, Community Healthcare

Personal profile


John Unsworth has worked in Higher Education since 2007 and has held posts at the Higher Education Academy, University of Sunderland and at previously at Northumbria University. John’s research relates to patient safety and workforce development around competence.

John has a background in primary and community care having been a Nurse Director in a geographically large Primary Care Trust in England. From 2001 to 2007 John was professional lead for nursing, allied health and adult social care / social work within Northumberland NHS Care Trust. Until 2018 he was Board Nurse on NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group. During the pandemic he has worked for NHS Test and Trace and a Clinical Contact Caseworker and is now delivering Covid-19 vaccines in Primary Care.

He has also worked in consultancy and a number of specialist nursing roles over the past 30 years. In 2013 John was made a National Teaching Fellow in recognition of his work around simulation education and student assessment in 2013. He became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016. John has worked internationally to develop practice and higher education teachers in Thailand, China, Hungary, Ghana, Vietnam, Bahrain, Ukraine and in Grenada (West Indies).

John is a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and a Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

John was awarded made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to community nursing and community nurse education.

John is a Global Nursing Leadership Institute Scholar with the International Council of Nurses and has a lead role in influencing UK policy as Chair of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Research interests

Nursing and Health Policy, Workforce Policy, Patient Safety, Workforce Development, Community Healthcare, Competence, Assessment and Feedback

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Law, LLM, LLM Medical Law, Northumbria University

1 Feb 200230 Jun 2002

Award Date: 2 Jun 2003

Philosophy, PhD

30 Sept 200231 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Sept 2002

Education, PGCE

30 Jun 199731 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 1997

Nursing, MSc

1 Sept 199431 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Sept 1994

Nursing, BSc (Hons)

1 Sept 199231 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Sept 1992

External positions

Fellow Faculty of Nursing Royal College of Surgeons

1 Sept 20211 Sept 2040

Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science

1 May 2021 → …

Queen's Nursing Institute

1 Jun 2010 → …


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