Acting Joint Head of Division, Senior Lecturer


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Erna Haraldsdottir (BSc, MSc, PhD) is a Senior lecturer in the Nursing Division. She is also a Full Member of the Centre for Person-centred Practice Research.

I am is currently a Director of Education and Research St Columba’s Hospice and a Senior Lecturer Queen Margaret University. My palliative care nursing practice started in Iceland and I was instrumental in developing palliative care services at the National Hospital in Iceland. After immigrating to Scotland I finished my Masters and PhD degree in palliative care nursing at the University of Edinburgh. I have led education in hospices over the last 12 years, and more recently research, first at Strathcarron Hospice and now at St Columba’s Hospice. I have also taken part in developing and delivering national and international teaching programmes in palliative care.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Honorary Fellow College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh       
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor University of Iceland
  • Associate fellow, Primary Palliative Care Research Group, Edinburgh University

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

My key research interests are related to Palliative Care, Practice Development and Person Centred Care. I have been leading the development of research active hospice for the last 5 years and have a strategic role in developing further research activities within St Columba’s Hospice and Palliative Care research within Queen Margaret University.

Active Research Interests:

  • Person Centred Care in Palliative Care Practice
  • Rehabilitation in Palliative Care
  • Creative Art in Palliative Care
  • Family support in Palliative Care

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Practice Development Methodology

Other funding:

Project- Developing art in hospice through use of documentary film making funded by Creative Scotland 2014

Project- Developing art in hospice through creative writing workshops funded by Creative Scotland 2013

Research: How do Gold Standard Framework meetings improve palliative care? Funded by  NHS Forth Valley endowment fund 2012

Research- Family support as part of palliative care, funded by Strathcarron Hospice 2012 

My primary teaching areas are in palliative care and related to death, dying and psychosocial and spiritual issues. I teach sessions on the undergraduate nursing programme, Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care and MSC Person Centred Practice- palliative care pathway programme. I also supervise PhD students dong research related to palliative care practice.  

Programme Leader:

MSc Person Centred Practice- palliative care pathway- Dissertation

Academic awards: 1987- BSc Nursing, University of Iceland

2000- MSc Nursing, University of Edinburgh

2007-PhD Nursing University of Edinburgh