Karen Hughes is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Health Sciences in the University of Surrey. She commenced her career as a registered children’s nurse, and it was during this time that she found herself supporting students and other healthcare professionals, in the art of caring for sick children. This is where her passion for learning and teaching really began.
She chose to first enter a formal education role at a relatively early stage of her nursing career, because of her belief that education has the power to make a real impact on the quality of healthcare. This conviction remains at the heart of everything she still does. She taught in the University setting for a number of years before a family relocation made this difficult to continue with. She returned to practice, this time working in mainly healthcare management roles, including change management and programme management in a Clinical Commissioning Group, buying healthcare provision for the local population.
When she returned to University teaching in 2012, she wanted to create programmes that were relevant to the broad healthcare team including NHS managers, rather than simply the traditional market of registered practitioners. She feels strongly that formal learning should enable students to return to their practice with the knowledge and confidence to make a difference.
Her primary focus is student experience and the impact of education in practice. She applies this to all the teaching, leadership and management roles she undertakes. She is particularly interested in mature and part time student’s needs to be able to learn flexibly, and so she builds blended and e-learning into programmes and modules to help with this. She also runs the School’s quality assurance process for external organisation’s health related education provision.