Dr Sharon Marie Weldon is a Reader/Associate Professor in Nursing Research and Education as well as a registered general nurse. She holds a joint appointment at the University of Greenwich and Barts Health NHS Trust, and an Honorary Senior Fellowship at Imperial College London. Her role is to provide strategic and clinical academic leadership to the development of research capacity amongst nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHP) at Bart’s Health NHS Trust. Her main duties are to produce high-quality research that is clinically significant, theoretically informed and methodologically sound, and to lead the strategic development of a nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare professional research culture at Barts Health NHS Trust.
Her previous role was as a Senior Research Officer at Imperial College London. Her research focused on Sequential Simulation (SqS), Distributed Simulation (design and implementation), communication, teamwork, leadership, pedagogical approaches, and public/patient engagement/involvement activities. Her PhD was completed during this period and focused on the development of an empirically and theoretically driven conceptual and process model relating to a novel form of structured and un-structured clinical simulation pedagogy termed Sequential Simulation.
Sharon started her nursing career as a paediatric theatre practitioner covering areas of ophthalmics, plastics, orthopaedics, general, and emergency and trauma surgery. Following this, she pursued a career in infectious diseases and worked in a hospital in Kisiizi, Uganda, a London infectious disease unit specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis, a Tuberculosis outpatient clinic, and for the Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) carrying out research on diagnostic tests for Tuberculosis across the London population.
Sharon has completed a BSc (Hons) at the University of Chester. She has an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with a particular emphasis on global health, disease epidemiology and diagnostic tests sensitivity and specificity. She undertook modules in epidemiology, statistics, health economics, social research, issues in public health, organisational management, globalization and health, design and analysis of epidemiological studies, health promotion theory, epidemiology of communicable diseases, principles and practices of public health, and healthcare evaluation.
In 2016, Sharon was awarded the Imperial College Global Health Scholarship. This is a highly competitive award given by Imperial College to selected researchers to participate in a global health summer school in Cape Town, South Africa. This award provided Sharon with an opportunity to meet international researchers with the aim of coming together to problem solve global health challenges.
Other research she has conducted includes an Economic and Social Research Council funded project “Transient Teams in the Operating Theatre” also at Imperial College London. This project examined communication between operating theatre staff through audio and video recordings. It addressed strengths and weaknesses in teamwork and built on this to create future training programmes and organisational change. This research resulted in significant outputs including major media interest across the world. As a result, Sharon was interviewed across various television and radio platforms nationally and internationally, including BBC World News, BBC Breakfast & the Today show as well as others.
In her current capacity, Sharon sits on the University of Greenwich’s Faculty Research and Enterprise Committee; the Msc Advanced Practice Ethics Review Panel and steering committee; and is a Clinical Network Facilitator for the Association of UK University Hospitals. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning (STEL).
Her teaching includes observational research and Sequential Simulation (SqS) lectures for the Masters in Surgical Education and surgical Innovation courses at Imperial College London, and surgical communication and teamwork to post-graduate nurses and radiographers at South Bank University. She also teaches a range of research related sessions to undergraduate and postgraduate nurses and allied healthcare professionals at the University of Greenwich, and on the preceptorship programme at Barts Health NHS Trust. She is also first supervisor for PhD candidates.
She has been awarded seven grants to date; A Wellcome Trust People Award; two Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Award; a Royal College of Nursing Foundation Award; an Arts and Humanities Research Council Award; A Research and Capital Investment Fund; and the University of Greenwich Internal funding.