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Ruth Pearce

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Ruth nursed clinically for 11 years on intensive care units throughout Birmingham including general, trauma and burns, cardiac and liver specialties.

Ruth has held various lecturing and senior lecturing posts including:

University of Birmingham 1999-2005: Programme Director for DipHE in Nursing

  • University of Worcester 2005-2016: Lead for Continuing Professional Development, Project Lead for Transforming Practice Through Research. Programme Lead for PGC - Teacher in Health and Social Care.
  • University of Nottingham 2016-ongoing: Associate Professor of Adult Nursing, Programme Director MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and new curriculum development lead for 2018.

In 2014 Ruth completed a Doctorate in Education (Leaders and Leadership) at the University of Birmingham. The thesis explored learning how to lead through engaging with enquiry based learning as a threshold process. An aspect of the thesis was disseminated at the Nurse Education Today conference in September 2014.

Ruth was Chair of the Association of Advanced Practice Educators - UK (AAPE) from 2014-2016 having previously and since been a committee member. As part of her work at AAPE-UK Ruth is on the Health Education England Steering Group which aims to develop an English National Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice. This follows on from her work with Health Education England (West Midlands Branch) which developed a framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in 2015.

Further to this work, Ruth is on the Queen's Nursing Institute Committee to develop voluntary standards for General Practice Nursing in association with the NMC, RCGP, RCN and the Department of Health.

Ruth is part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council virtual Thought Leadership Group which contributes and informs the development of new standards and outcomes for future nurses at the point of registration.

Out with her University work, Ruth is an Executive Board Member of the Institute of Ageing and Health - West Midlands (IAH) and is a member of the Education and Research Committee as well as co-editor of the Institute's Journal: Ageing and Health. The Institute is an independent charity which embraces the education and development of all the disciplines involved in the care of older people. The Journal disseminates evidence based practice to promote excellence in care for older people.

Expertise Summary

Ruth is an experienced academic with extensive knowledge and skills in delivering professional education to undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals. She works in partnership with the NHS, independent sector, international partners and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies .

Ruth is the lead within the division for the nursing curriculum rewrite for 2018. She is programme director of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice.

As outgoing Chair of the Association of Advanced Practice Educators - UK and ongoing committee member, Ruth has expertise in developing regional and national frameworks for advanced clinical practice and has extensive experience as a critical reviewer of advanced practice programmes.

Ruth has written curricula on the Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice and led a PGCE for healthcare professionals which was validated by the NMC.

Ruth's thesis was on enquiry based learning and how traits of leadership emerged in the post-graduate students who engaged with the process of enquiry based learning. Alongside her interest in enquiry based learning Ruth has researched the use and effect of creative arts in older people communities.

Teaching Summary

Enquiry based learning

Facilitating learning

Curriculum development

Creative arts

Recent Publications

Past Research

Ruth carried out an evaluation with Sue Lillyman from the University of Worcester for the Courtyard Arts Centre in Hereford after receiving a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to reduce social isolation amongst older adults living in rural communities through engaging with four different creative arts projects. The purpose of the projects was to reduce social isolation among participants through providing direct access to arts and social activities. The view was that these activities would improve life skills and independence, increase levels of activity and improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of participants. Evaluation of these projects demonstrated increased levels of self-worth and self-esteem among participants, and many of the older people involved agreed that they had made new friends while having the opportunity to try out a new activity.

In 2014 Ruth completed a Doctorate in Education (Leaders and Leadership) at the University of Birmingham. The thesis explored learning how to lead through engaging with enquiry based learning as a threshold process. The methodology was a single case study based on group interviews. Six groups totalling 59 students were interviewed to ascertain their experience of the nature of EBL, their conceptions of learning within a community of practice, the transformative influences that enabled an ontological shift and the emerging leadership qualities. This study captures the students' epistemic and ontological development through engagement with the EBL process. It argues the literature around threshold concepts should explore integrating student-centred pedagogy into threshold concepts rather than viewing it as a separate entity to enable PGCE students to develop leadership qualities. It utilises the proposed threshold process within a framework that outlines the preparation and practice of educational leaders in healthcare which embraces exposure to, engagement with and enactment of leadership.

In 2014 an initial study was undertaken to ascertain student midwives views on incorporating creative arts as a learning strategy into pre-registration midwifery curricula. This research discusses the concerns regarding the quality of midwifery practice in relation to supporting mothers which has been at the forefront of national news. There has been increasing friction between what student midwives learn about practice and what they witness in practice. The findings from this research offers insight into whether creative arts is a viable pedagogy to enable students to engage with the emotionality of midwifery practice. The paper concludes that creative arts should be considered an integrated pedagogy in midwifery education as it goes some way to address the divergence of the art and science of midwifery to ensure graduating students are fit for purpose.

Research was undertaken in 2013 to ascertain the support provided to preceptors and the qualities they require to carry out their role supporting newly qualified professionals. A phenomenological approach was adopted to illicit the experiences and perceptions of the preceptors in practice. The themes that emerged from the analysis were lack of preparation for their role, expectations of the preceptors and how they perceive the role and the limitations and difficulties associated with being a preceptor. Preceptor attributes and programme approaches have been discussed in literature although guidance concerning preparation and training for the role in the UK is less well documented. The findings of this small scale study may be useful in planning and developing preceptorship programmes in the future to provide sustainable support to develop the preceptor as well as the preceptee.

  • RUTH PEARCE, 2017. A literature review of the ethics of surveillance technologies Ageing and Health. 21, 15-19
  • CHRISTINA LANGE and RUTH PEARCE, 2017. Exploration of diabetes knowledge among registered nurses in an NHS Trust Journal of Diabetes Nursing. 21(6), 203-207
  • RUTH PEARCE, 2016. Sensory stimulation activities: is there any evidence? Ageing and Health. 20, 4-8
  • SUE LILLYMAN, RUTH PEARCE, ALICE SAUNDERS and PENNY ALLEN, 2014. An evaluation of a poetry project working with older people in residential and nursing homes. Ageing and Health. 19, 12-15
  • SARAH NOBLE and RUTH PEARCE, 2014. An initial study to ascertain student midwives views on incorporating creative arts as a learning strategy into pre-registration midwifery. British Journal of Midwifery. 22(4), 282-288
  • LISA PANZAVECCHIA and RUTH PEARCE, 2014. Are preceptors adequately prepared for their role in supporting newly qualified staff? Nurse Education Today. 34(7), 1119-1124
  • RUTH PEARCE, 2014. Social isolation in older adults and its impact on health. Ageing and Health. 19, 16-18
  • RUTH PEARCE, 2004. How to develop a portfolio. Nurse2Nurse. 4(6), 45-48
  • VAUX CAIRNS and RUTH PEARCE, 2004. Experiences of nursing in India Nurse2Nurse. 4(3), 15-17
  • RUTH PEARCE, 2003. Profiles and portfolios of evidence. 1. Nelson Thornes.

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