Kathy started her nursing career in September 1978 and following completion of her BA in Nursing Studies worked in Glasgow in an acute medical ward. Kathy then undertook an intensive therapy nurse course and subsequently worked in both cardiothoracic and general intensive care in London and Glasgow. Following a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching Kathy worked as a lecturer and then senior lecturer within Glasgow Caledonian University. Kathy completed a Masters in Health Studies and then a PhD. In 2011, Kathy returned to practice education first in a new role within NHS Education for Scotland as practice educator hosted in NHS Lanarkshire, then as senior nurse for education in NHS Lanarkshire, before returning to NHS Education for Scotland as Head of Programme for Practice Education and Pre-registration.
Kathy’s seminal PhD (2006), focussing on why nursing mentors found it difficult to fail students who were underperforming, enabled us within nursing and midwifery practice to acknowledge and discuss what was, at the time, a little talked about subject ‘failing to fail’. Kathy’s research helped inform mentorship preparation within the UK and the development of the practice education facilitators role, who support registrants who assess nursing and midwifery students during practice placements. Kathy has since then had more than 30 publications within the area of mentorship, student support and education.
All of Kathy’s colleagues within NHS Education Scotland and the wider practice education network wish Kathy well on her retirement. On her retiral and in her own words, “I will be leaving a role I love, but I have had a fabulous career after starting as a student nurse in September 1978”.