19 May 2009
Sheffield professor receives prestigious nursing award
A professor from the University of Sheffield has received a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing; the highest honour the Royal College of Nursing can bestow.
Professor Roger Watson, from the University of Sheffield's School of Nursing and Midwifery, was presented with the award at the Royal College of Nursing Congress in Harrogate on the 10 May 2009.
Over the course of his distinguished career, Professor Watson has made a number of significant contributions to the international knowledge base of professional nursing. In particular, the impact of his work on the ethical aspects of nutritional care of persons with advanced dementia has helped to change the quality of care and life for individuals in the UK, the USA and Taiwan.
His development of the Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia (EdFED) scale in 1994 confirmed his international leadership status in the ethical care of persons with dementia. The scale – which remains the only validated instrument in this area – helped shape a major NHS programme to improve the nutritional care of older people with dementia, and has been extensively acknowledged as a ground breaking framework for the development of evidence-based care strategies. Similarly, his Caring Dimensions Inventory has been widely used, both in the UK and internationally, to measure aspects of care in nursing.
As a result of his work on nutrition and dementia, Professor Watson has been propelled into playing key advisory and developmental roles for the NHS. He has also been involved in numerous government and charity funded projects to investigate a range of nursing workforce issues, including stress, competence, and the contribution of older nurses to the UK NHS.
A passionate advocate of the role of life sciences in the role of nursing and the need for graduate education for nurses, his workforce development research has been influential in evaluating and formulating policies related to new routes of entry into the profession. He has published an immense and varied body of works. His text books, for example, are widely used within UK nurse education at all levels and have been influential in nursing curricula development.
Internationally his work is held in high esteem. In South East Asia he has held external examiner and visiting professor appointments and is an established mentor of nurse scholars, while in the USA he was first UK Fellow to be appointed to The American Academy of Nursing.
In addition to his role as Professor of Nursing at the University of Sheffield, since 2003 he has transformed the Journal of Clinical Nursing into one of the top nursing journals in the world. Under his leadership as editor-in-chief, the publication has become a forum for lively debate on critical issues impacting the profession today.
Professor Watson said: "Naturally, this is honour for me but it is also a reflection on the people I have worked with over the years and the supportive and vibrant research culture in nursing at the University of Sheffield."