A health researcher at Edge Hill University has been appointed to a top role to influence children’s nursing education in the UK.

Professor Bernie Carter is now the new president of the Association of British Paediatric Nurses – the oldest children’s nursing association in the world.

A picture of Professor Bernie Carter.
Professor Bernie Carter

The role is important in shaping the development of children’s nursing through evidence-based information about practice and education.

Through its network of children’s nurses and experts in clinical practice, education, leadership and research, the association works with its members to influence policy and to lobby for the best educational opportunities for pre and post registration education.

Professor Carter, who co-leads the Children, Young People and Families Research Group at Edge Hill, said:

“I’ve been involved with the Association for most of my life while in children’s nursing and I was both delighted and overwhelmed when I was asked to take on the role, which brings with it so many opportunities, challenges and responsibilities.

“2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife; and the current COVID-19 pandemic starkly reveals how a well-educated, highly skilled children’s nursing workforce that is flexible, adaptable and able to work in new and challenging circumstances is essential to the health of our nation. I’ll be working hard to ensure that our members work effectively together to influence children’s nursing education.”

Professor Carter started her career as a children’s nurse, training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. While in various practice roles she found she had more questions than answers; this was the start of a research career.

Professor Bernie Carter giving a lecture at Edge Hill University

Her research interests focus on children and young people whose lives are disrupted by pain, illness, disability, complex health care needs and disadvantage, and the ways in which this affects their parents, siblings and family life. Her work aims to explore issues of importance to children, young people and their families to improve their everyday lives and the treatment provided and services they receive.

She moved to Edge Hill University in February 2016 and in her role as Director of Studies she tries to pass on her passion about research to her doctoral students, who are undertaking a range of child and family projects both in the UK and abroad.

Professor Carter is also Director of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

For more information about health-related courses at Edge Hill, or if you’re interested in studying for a PhD, please visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk.