The challenges & rewards of combing teaching & learning, research & scholarly activity

Joanna Smith (@josmith175),IMG_0206

Lecturer Children’s Nursing, University of Leeds & Associate Editor EBN

I have worked in higher education for 15 years, and draw on over 15 years’ clinical experiences, primarily caring for children with complex needs to inform my teaching and research. I qualified as a registered general nurse in 1986, and registered children’s nurse in 1987, with my academic achievements beginning while working in clinical practice and culminating in achieving a doctorate in 2011. I am passionate about children’s nursing and main research interests relate to the way in which health professionals’ work with and involve children, young people and their families in care and acre decisions in the context of childhood long-term conditions. In relation to working with parents key findings from studies undertaken to date suggests:

  • Parents’ satisfaction with their relationships with health professionals is variable;
  • Professional/parent communication is primarily aimed at information provision;
  • Parents’ perceive their expertise & contribution to care is not always valued & they not involved in care & care decisions.

Smith J, Swallow V, Coyne I (2015) Involving Parents in Managing Their Child’s Long-Term Condition-A Concept Synthesis of Family-Centered Care and Partnership-in-Care. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 30(1):143-59.

Smith J, Cheater F, Bekker H. (2015) Parents’ experiences of living with a child with hydrocephalus: a cross sectional interview based study. Health Expectations, 18 (5): 1709-20.

Smith, J., Cheater, F., Bekker, H, Chatwin, J. (2015) Are parents and professionals making shared decisions about a child’s care on presentation of a suspected shunt malfunction: a mixed method study? Health Expectations, 18 (5):1299-315.

Smith, J., Cheater, F., Bekker, H. (2015) Parents’ experiences of living with a child with a long-term condition: a rapid structured review of the literature. Health Expectations, 18 (4) 452-474.


My current post enables me to combine my clinical experiences with managing and supporting teaching and learning for undergraduate, post-qualifying and post-graduate students, and research scholarship nationally and internationally. In addition to my role of Associate Editor for EBN, I am a member of editorial board for Nursing Children and Young People, and review articles for a range of journals. I have been invited to join the steering group as the nurse representative for two inquiries by the UK National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) relating to the care of on children. In addition to presenting research findings at a range of conferences, I was the country liaison for last years prestigious International Family Nursing Association Conference held in Denmark, and was chair the local organising committee for the Pediatric Nurses Association of Europe Congress in 2013. Throughout all these opportunities the knowledge and networking have shaped my thinking. However, there are many challenges in juggling all aspects of an academic career; excellent time management and organisation skills are essential, but ultimately the driver is a desire to ensure care delivered to children and families is based on the best evidence, whether though approaches to teaching and interacting with student or developing research that makes a difference.

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