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Dr Alison Steven

Associate Professor/Reader in Health Professions Education

Department: Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Alison Steven is a Reader in Health Professions Education with an interest in education and learning for professional practice.

Alison studied for her first degree in Nursing Studies BSc(Hons) at Northumbria University gaining a first, before taking up a position as staff nurse and completing a PhD at Newcastle University. Her doctoral study investigated clinical skills education for Nurse Practitioners using a discourse analysis approach. She later worked as a research associate, research fellow and then senior research associate in Newcastle University Medical School. In 2008 Alison came back to Northumbria as Senior Lecturer in Knowledge Translation in Public Health working with FUSE (UKCRC funded Centre for Knowledge Translation in Public Health) and in 2011 was appointed to the position of Reader in Health Professions Education. Alison’s research outputs were part of the Research Excellence Framework return for Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy UoA2014.

 Alison has a longstanding interest in education and learning both within and across health professions. She has a longstanding interest in education for Patient Safety and leads the Sharing LearnIng from Practice to improve Patient Safety (SLIPPS) priject, funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European union, which covers 5 countries and several professions. For over a decade Alison has been involved in projects related to mentoring for doctors and in 2014 was awarded the British Medical Association Joan Dawkins research award for a study exploring the relationships between involvement in mentoring activities and doctors health and wellbeing.

 Alison has also been involved in research focusing on: inter-professional education,  education for new roles, developing a National CPD framework for nurses working with older people, practice based education for end of life care, clinical supervision, knowledge translation, the development of Quality Improvement networks across Europe, CPD and workforce development.

NrL Link: 

Campus Address

CLC West
Room B126

0191 215 6483


MSc in Academic and Professional Learning (with distinction) 2011

PhD, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Newcastle‘Education for Nurse Practitioners: Exploring the Perceptions of those involved in practice-based and classroom-based clinical skills modules’         2002

PGCert, Research Methods, University of Northumbria. 1998                                    

B.Sc. (Hons) Nursing Studies/RN,(1st ), University of Northumbria. 1997                

Professional Activity

Alison is a member of the Northern RCN Research Forum Steering Group.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Alison’s research is focused on education and learning for professional practice with an emphasis on:

  • - The development of professional knowledge and practice
  • - Mentoring
  • - Education for patient safety and  ‘emotional safety for learning’
  • - Knowledge translation, transfer and exchange
  • - Practice based learning and the learning milieu

Her theoretical interest lies in the social construction and negotiation of professional knowledge and practice.

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Genova (Italy)
  • Østfold university College (Norway)
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)
  • University of Alicante (Spain)
  • Newcastle University (UK)
  • Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust
  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation
  • NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group
  • National Institute for Academic Anaesthesia 
  • British Medical  Association

Current/Recent Projects

Steven A, Pearson P. Turanen H., Tella S., et al (2016) Sharing LearnIng from Practice to improve Patient Safety SLIPPS, KA203 Strategic Partnerships Erasmus+ programme , European Union. (Project Lead)  2016

Investigating the development and implementation of an interprofessional post graduate career framework for health professions. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust (Funded PhD studentship - PI &Principal Supervisor)   2015

Implementation Pilot for the National Career Framework for Nurses Caring for Older People with Complex Needs, HEE, (Co applicant) 2015

Enhancing student midwives’ opportunities and experiences of postnatal assessment skills within the midwifery preregistration curricula. Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund, Northumbria University (Co applicant) 2014

Exploring the relationship between engagement in mentoring activities and doctors' health and wellbeing. British Medical  Association: Joan Dawkins Award (Principal investigator) 2014 

Evaluating and exploring the implementation of the Hydra system in care homes across the North East. NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (Principal investigator) 2014

Exploring Health Visitor Training for supporting a baby with complex health and/or developmental needs.  Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust  (Principal investigator) 2014  

Development of a National Career Framework for Nurses Caring for Older People with Complex Needs using a Delphi technique. Health Education North East   (Co applicant) 2014

An evaluation of the implementation and impact of a mentoring programme for Anaesthetists in the North East. National Institute for Academic Anaesthesia   (Principal investigator) 2013

Development, piloting and evaluation of an educational pathway for competence in end of life care. South of Tyne and Wear PCT (Principal investigator) 2011

Concept mapping of knowledge translation across public health in the North East. FUSE centre for translational research in Public Health (Principal investigator)  2011

Leadership for health improvement: factors that help or hinder the application of health improvement theory in practice. NHS North East (Co applicant)   2011

Models for Schools of Public Health: A Scoping Review. NHS North East. (Principal investigator)  2010

Evaluation of the Research to Reality workshops in the North East.   Regional Enterprise and Innovation Partnership (Co applicant) 2009

Steven A., Geddes L. Exploring decisions about participation in screening programmes and the potential of social marketing as a strategy for increasing participation. North East Strategic Health (Funded PhD studentship - PI &Principal Supervisor) 2009

Multi-faceted evaluation of the Early Clinical Career Nurse Fellowships Pilot. NHS Education for Scotland (Co applicant) 2008


Key Publications

Larkin V., Tenent J., Smith G., Steven A. (2017) Student midwives’ experiences in relation to assessment of maternal postnatal genital tract health: A case study analysis.. Midwifery 56, 61-69 

Wilson G, Larkin V, Redfern N, Stewart J, Steven A. (2017) Exploring the relationship between mentoring and doctors’ health and wellbeing: a narrative review. J R Soc Med 2017; 110: 192–201 DOI: 10.1177/0141076817700848 

Greaves J., Greaves d., Gallagher H., Steven A., and  Pearson P.(2016) Doctors and nurses have different priorities in using the Modified Early Warning Score protocol. British Journal of Anaesthesia 2016 116 (2): 298 doi: 10.1093/bja/aev464 

Steven A. (2015) An evaluation of the implementation and impact of a mentoring programme for Anaesthetists in the North East. Final report produced for National Institute for Academic Anaesthesia (ISBN 9781861354648) 

Visram S, Goodall D, Steven A (2014) Mapping conceptualisations of knowledge translation, transfer and exchange across public health. Public Health. Volume 128, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages 497-503 ISSN 00333506

Rushmer R, Hunter D Steven A (2014) Exploring the effectiveness of the knowledge exchange mechanisms used in a knowledge to action initiative: a realist evaluation of the research to reality programme.  Public Health Volume 128, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages 552-560. ISSN 00333506

Steven, A.,  Magnusson, C ., Smith, P. and Pearson P.H.  (2014) Patient safety in nursing education: Contexts, tensions and feeling safe to learn. Nurse Education Today 34 (2014), pp. 277-284 published online: 27-DEC-2013 DOI information: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.04.025

Steven, A, White G, and Marples G (2014) Enhancing confidence and competence in end of life care: an educational pathway for community nursing staff . BMJ Supportive & Palliative care. 4 Suppl 1: A36

Cresswell, K., Howe, A.,Steven, A.,Smith, P., Ashcroft, D., Fairhurst, K., Bradley, F., Magnusson,C., Pearson, P., Sheikh, A . (2013) Patient safety in healthcare pre-registration educational curricula: multiple case study-based investigations of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy courses in the UK. BMJ Quality & Safety, (Online First: 1 June 2013) doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-001905

Bradley F, Steven A, and Ashcroft DM (2011) Learning about patient safety: recognizing the importance of the hidden curriculum in pharmacy education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2011; 75 (7)

Steven A, Oxley J, Fleming W. (2008) Mentoring for doctors: perceived benefits for the personal and professional. Journal of Royal Society of Medicine 101,552-557.

Steven A. (2008) Mentoring schemes for psychiatrists in the North East: an evaluation and exploration. Report for Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, NIMHE and The Northern Deanery. University of Newcastle upon Tyne.( ISBN 13 978-0-9552799-1-1)

PGR Supervision

Leigh Donnelly Examining the foundations of role identity and how formative experiences in the professional journey influence interactions between Doctors and Clinical Nurse Specialist in practice’ PhD (PT) start Sept 2016

Micelle Mitchell Exploring Adult nursing students views and experiences of how community mentors influence them. Phd (FT)start 2015

Eleanor Price Exploring work based interprofessional education and staff training Phd (FT)start October 2015

Jon Geddes Exploring the role of nurses in non-formal and informal medical education (learning in the workplace) PhD (FT) start September 2015

Sarah Morey: What perceptions do patients hold of the Health Care Assistant role and the care delivered and what influences these perceptions? PhD (FT) start September 2012 Mabel Okoedi: Exploring participation in cervical screening. PhD Start 2013

Debra Morgan: Learning to live- living to learn: an analysis of student learning during placements abroad. PhD (PT) start 2014

Sue Jackson: Exploring professionalism in Nurse Education. PhD (PT) start October 2012                              

Jane Greaves: How do interprofessional, interdisciplinary and authority patterns affect the carer’s response to critical events? (Second supervisor) PhD (PT) start February 2013

Rebekah McNaughton:Health professionals’ and patients’ reactions to the implementation of Healthy Heart Checks: an application of Normalisation Process Theory.  (Second supervisor) PhD (PT) start Feb 2010


Lucy Currie: Development through work based learning: a case study of students experiences and perceptions. EdD 2015

Jill Dales: 'Communicating with patients: the influence of prior assumptions’. Integrated PhD in Education and Communication University of Newcastle PhD 2015

Prisca Azodo: Participation in Bowel Screening Programmes: exploring the processes involved and the potential role of social marketing. Northumbria Universit PhD 2014

Jenny Yeo: ‘What influences self-evaluation of competence/confidence during a clinical training programme for nurses?’ University of Newcastle MD 2007

Lesley Young-Murphy: ‘Integration and collaboration in health visiting teams’ University of Newcastle PhD 2006


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