Senior Lecturer and Omega Xi Chapter Secretary


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Caroline AW Dickson (RN; D HSSc; MSc; PG Cert Prof & Higher Ed; Dip DN) is a Senior Lecturer in the Nursing Division. She is also a Affiliate member of the Centre for Person-centered Practice Research.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

I have been a Registered Nurse since 1985 and have gained considerable experience within community nursing, particularly district nursing, general practice nursing and practice development. In 2003 I moved into higher education at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and I am now Senior Lecturer in Community Nursing.  I am Programme Leader for the PGDip Person-centred Practice (District Nursing).  I also contribute to the undergraduate nursing programme from a community nursing perspective.  I am also an Honorary District Nurse in NHS Borders and am in clinical practice one day per month.

I am currently Chair of the RCN District Nursing Forum and a member of the Association of District Nurse Educators. I was a member of the Steering Group which developed QNI/QNIS voluntary standards for District Nurse Education and Practice (2016). I have also been a member of a variety of national groups developing district and community nursing services in Scotland and the UK. I am a member of the International Practice Development Collaborative.  I regularly review papers for a number of journals including the British Journal of Community Nursing, International Practice Development Journal, Journal of Nursing Management and the International Journal of Older People.  I am currently an External Examiner at Ulster and London South Bank universities. I have held previous External Examiner positions in University of Southampton, Leeds Beckitt University and Glasgow Caledonian University.

I also engage with practice through facilitation of practice development within a number of organisations. Using my facilitation expertise and adopting active learning approaches, I help teams to think about person-centred practice and consider ways of developing quality, person-centred care.  This work is informing my teaching and research activity.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Honorary District Nurse, NHS Borders; International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC)

Professional Social Media:

  • Twitter @cawdickson
  • Twitter @DNQMU

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

My doctoral research explored the meaning of specialisation from the perspective of District Nurses. A qualitative study, adopting Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. This built on previous research into Leadership within Community Nursing in 2012.  More recent research has adopted participatory action research methodologies underpinned by practice development, active learning and person-centred practice.  Recent work has focused on end of life and palliative care settings.  I am an affiliate member of the Person-centred Practice Research Centre at Queen Margaret University and a member of the International Practice Development Collaborative. These memberships provide support from international researchers.

I have supervised numerous students at honours and masters level. I am currently supervising doctorate students who are examining experiences of family carers caring for children with long-term conditions, facilitation in practice development and quality improvement.  I have published widely in peer-reviewed journals and have presented and national and international conferences.    

Active Research Interests:

  • Practice Development; Community Nursing; End of Life Care.

Research Methods:

  • Practice Development; Participatory Action Research; Realist Evaluation; Interpretive phenomenology’ interpretive Phenomenological Analysis


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

2014 Queens Nursing Institute, Scotland. Pre-registration community placements for nursing students: a literature review (PI) - £5,000

2015 Queens Nursing Institute, Scotland. Creating Connections Research Programme using realist evaluation to develop the CHOICE (Connecting Health and Social care to Offer Individualised Care at End of Life for Patients and Families at Home) model (PI) - £10,000

2015 Marie Curie Creating a Culture of Person-centredness. This project adopts PAR methodologies, underpinned by transformational practice development, cooperative enquiry, person-centred practice and active learning. (joint PI) - £30,000

2016 Marie Curie: Developing Practice Development Facilitators across Marie Curie (PI) - £25,000

2016: Queens Nursing Institute, Scotland: Leading critical companionship to evaluate CHOICE (PI) - £2000  

Caroline's seminars and lectures focus on Community Nursing, Practice Development, Person-centred Practice, Leadership, health and social care, amongst other topics.

Programme Leader:

I am the Programme Leader for PG Diploma Person-centred Practice (District Nursing) leading to Specialist Practitioner Qualification, recordable on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.