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Alison James  SFHEA

Dr Alison James SFHEA

Reader: Healthcare Leadership

School of Healthcare Sciences

Welsh speaking
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Reader in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University and SFHEA. I am a Registered General Nurse and teach across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Healthcare.

My research interests include Leadership, Quality Improvement and Innovation and organisational cultures. I have an M.A in Healthcare Law and Ethics and am a Doctor of Advanced Healthcare Practice ( Cardiff University). I am currently leading a research project funded by the GNCT exploring the experiences of Executive Directors of Nursing in the wake of Covid-19: identifying priorities and actions for recovery and future learning from the pandemic.

CIinically, I worked in Neurology at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford and as an osteopororsis clinincal research nurse at Oxford Univresity and Fracture Liaison Specialist Nurse at the Nuffield Orthopaedic centre, Oxford. I began my academic career in 2008 in Knowledge Transfer and postgraduate teaching in leadership and management in Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes University. I moved to Cardiff University in 2014 and have held positions of Deputy and Programme Manager for the MSc Advanced Practice and Advanced Clinical practice programmes, Recognition of Prior Learning Lead and International Academic Student Link as well as Module lead for undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

I am a member of the Wales Centre for Evidence Based Care (WCEBC), and a Scientific Writer for the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Centre of Excellence. I have presented at conferences in the UK  and internationally and publications include evidence-based reviews in internationally peer-reviewed and evidence-based databases, peer reviewed journal commentaries, contribution to national reports for Department of Health and books ( most recent publication ) 

I have experience as an  external examiner at Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London (MSc Programme for Leadership) and currently at Manchester University, and De Montford University and have experience of external reviewing programmes for validation in the UK and Greece. I am a member of the editorial board for RCNi Nursing Management.










Book sections







My interest in research is focused on leadership development in the healthcare workforce and how this impacts delivery and quality of patient care. I am particularly interested in values-based leadership theory and models, and how this influences cultures within healthcare environments and I aim to translate evidence into practice by informing the work of healthcare practitioners, academics and policy. I am  interested in understanding how leaders in healthcare have chosen to approach leadership during the current pandemic and how this has impacted patients and staff.

I am currently leading a rsesrch project funded by the GNCT exploring the experiences of Executive Directors of Nursing in the wake of Covid-19: identifying priorities and actions for recovery and future learning from the pandemic.

I am a qualitative researcher and am particularly interested in the use of narrative inquiry and visual methodologies such as photographic elicitation.My doctoral research focused on experiences and perceptions of leadership, of student nurses, academics and senior nurses using narrative inquiry and photographic elicitation.

As well as being a registered nurse, I have also worked within clinical research in osteoporosis genetics, dementia and Cretzfeldt Jacob disease. From 2008-14 my rolw included applied research and Knowledge Transfer in public care, contributing to publications and reviews of public services, developing leadership and integration within teams in Local Councils and Health Authorities in England and working with Local Authorities in Wales on Commissioning strategies.


I am a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and mentor and evaluate HEA fellowships at Cardiff University. I teach on a range of healthcare programmes including undergraduate and postgraduate modules and am module lead for Transforming care, Sytems and Services through Leadership, a level 7 mutidisciplinary module. I continue to develop my scholarship and pedagogical interest in leadership, emotional intelligence and quality improvement and have a special interest in experiential learning and Action Learning. I have previous experience as a deputy and programme manager, curriculum and programme design and am personal tutor for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

Previous teahing experience includes leadership development with nurses in Namibia, leadership and quality improevment for Social care managers across Wales and programmmes developing outcomes focused care in health and social care in south west England.

I am an External Examiner at Manchester University and De Montford University and previously at King's College London and have experience of reviewing external validation programmes at Oxford Brookes University, Derby, Edinburgh Napier, Athens  and Middlesex.


I am a Reader at Cardiff University, and have held roles of RPL lead, International student link, clinical placements and deputy programme manager and interim Programme Manager for the MSc Advanced Practice and Advanced Clinical Practice programmes. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA, member of the editorial Board for RCNi Nursing Management Journal .

From 2008-2014 I worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant in Knowledge Transfer and applied research at the Institite of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford. During this time I developed further my interest in Leadership and Quality Improvement, working with local authorities and health across the UK and was a lead tutor for the Team Management Development Programme in Wales, commissioned by the SSIA.

My nursing clinical nursing background began in 1986 in Oxford where I worked within neuroscience nursing, osteoporosis and as a clinical research nurse with Oxford University and Specialist Nurse at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Honours and awards

SFHEA  2019

FHEA 2017

The Lord Nuffield Trust Fund, Achievement Award 2008

The Lord Nuffield Trust Fund, Girdlestone Memorial Nursing Scholarship Award 2004

Professional memberships


Academic positions

Senior Knowledge Transfer Consultant, Oxford Brookes University

Committees and reviewing

Editorial Board, Nursing Management Journal RCNi

Reviewer for Nurse Education in Practice


I am interetsed in supervising students in areas of :

  • healthcare leadership and quality improvement
  • workplace and organsiational cultures
  • healthcare education
  • values based leadership
  • Social Justice

Current supervision

Lisa Cordery-bruce

Lisa Cordery-bruce

Research student