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Prof John Unsworth


Department: Nursing, Midwifery & Health

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 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.

John Unsworth

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Patient Safety, Workforce Development, Community Healthcare, Competence, Assessment and Feedback

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine administration, Gordon, C., Porteous, D., Unsworth, J. 25 Mar 2021, In: British Journal of Nursing
  • Development and evaluation of the validity and reliability of the Leading and Managing Care pre-registration nursing student assessment tool, Unsworth, J., Melling, A., Porteous, D. 2021, In: SAGE Open Nursing
  • Developing an integrated approach to the assessment of student nurse competence using the Total Client Care (TCC) assessment tool, Unsworth, J., Melling, A., Porteous, D. Mar 2020, In: Nurse Education in Practice
  • Leading global teacher development in higher education, Unsworth, J., Wright, K., Hack, C. 12 Feb 2020, Delivering Educational Change in Higher Education, London, Taylor & Francis
  • Lessons From Other Disciplines About Communication, Human Performance and Situational Awareness While Wearing Personal Protective Equipment, Scott, M., Unsworth, J. 2020, In: SAGE Open Nursing
  • Patient safety from executive hospital management to wards: a qualitative study identifying factors influencing implementation, Conner, A., Unsworth, J., Machin, A. 1 Jul 2020, In: Journal of Nursing Management
  • Matching final assessment to employability: developing a digital viva as an end of programme assessment, Scott, M., Unsworth, J. 2018, In: Higher Education Pedagogies
  • Improving performance amongst nursing students through the discovery of discrepancies during simulation, Unsworth, J., Melling, A., Tuffnell, C., Allan, J. 1 Jan 2016, In: Nurse Education in Practice
  • First do no harm: Teaching and assessing the recognition and rescue of deteriorating patients to nursing students, Tucker, G., Unsworth, J., Hindmarsh, Y. 2015, In: Journal of Nursing Education and Practice
  • Man versus Machine: the importance of manual blood pressure measurement skills amongst registered nurses, Unsworth, J., Tucker, G., Hindmarsh, Y. 2015, In: Journal of Hospital Administration

PGR Supervision

Kevin Murphy Lone working in Community Nursing Healthcare Services Start Date: 01/10/2021


  • Law LLM June 02 2003
  • Philosophy PhD September 30 2002
  • Education PGCE June 30 1997
  • Nursing MSc September 01 1994
  • Nursing BSc (Hons) September 01 1992
  • Principal Fellow (PFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2021
  • National Teaching Fellow NTF 2013

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