Photo of Helen Kerr

Helen Kerr

Dr

  • Room 06.314 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Kerr is open to PhD applications in the fields of: - Interventions and evaluations to improve the transition from children’s to adult services -Oncology and palliative care nursing - Educational interventions for teaching oncology and palliative care nursing

20072019

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Helen Kerr is a registered nurse with previous clinical experience in oncology and palliative care.  Helen is also a registered Specialist Nurse in oncology with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

Research interests lie in the broad area of oncology and palliative care.  Previous research completed focused on the impact on registered nurses of working in ward based oncology care.  Research completed in 2016 as part of a Doctoral Fellowship identified the factors that were considered to contribute to an effective transition from children’s to adult services for young adults with life-limiting conditions on the island of Ireland. In 2017 Helen was awarded the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Researcher of the Year award and was also runner up in the Royal College of Nursing, Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year for this research.  Helen secured the national Florence Nightingale Travel Scholarship award in 2016 to continue expanding this research interest.  

Recently completed research focused on the use of a Personal-held record for young people with complex health conditions. Another recently completed study explored the use of mobile spaced learning as a digital learning platform for teaching symptom management to undergraduate nursing students.

Current research Dr Kerr is leading on is a qualitiative research study focused on the impact of the Specialist Practice in Oncology qualification on patient care and clinical practice.

Helen is a member of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) Palliative Care Research Network (PCRN) and the Palliative Care Research Forum Northern Ireland (PCRFNI) executive committee.

Teaching

Helen is a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).  Helen is the Pathway Lead for the BSc(Hons) and Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Practice in Oncology programme and also module coordinator for four modules in this programme.  This involves a teaching workload in these modules;

  • 'The Basis of Therapeutic Practice in Cancer Nursing'
  • 'Biomedical Aspects of Oncology Nursing' 
  • 'Dimensions of Care in Cancer Nursing'  
  • 'Assessment and Advanced Communication'

 

Helen is also module coordinator for the 'Evidence Based Nursing 1' module and teaches in 'Uni Simulation' and 'Interprofessional education' (IPE) simulation in year three of the BSc(Hons) Nursing

 

Achievements

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in January 2020.
  • Secured a small grant from 'The Burdett Trust for Nursing' for research on the impact of the Specialist Practice qualification on patient care and clinical practice
  • Winner of the International Journal of Palliative Nursing 'Researcher of the Year' award in March 2017.
  • Awarded Researcher Plus award at the PhD graduation ceremony at Queen's University Belfast in December 2016.
  • Awarded competitive national 'Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Scholarship' in October 2016.
  • Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year, runner up in May 2016.
  • Awarded competitive Marcia Mackie award at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, QUB, in 2014/15. 
  • Successful bursary application from the 'Palliative Care Congress' to present at the Congress in Harrogate, England in 2014.
  • Along with Dr Peter O'Halloran, Dr Honor Nicholl and Professor Jayne Price, awarded a competitve Doctoral Fellowship from the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care and the Health and Social Care, Public Health Agency, Research Division from 2013-2016.

 

Research Statement

Research interests lie in the broad area of oncology and palliative care which includes the development of innovative educational strategies in this subject area.

 

Current research

 

  •  ‘Registered nurses’ perspectives of the impact of completing the Specialist Practice in Oncology  qualification on patient care and clinical practice: a qualitative study.

 

Completed research

  • ‘Feasibility study to explore the use of mobile spaced learning as a digital learning platform when teaching symptom management to undergraduate nursing student.  SPLENdidS study.’
  • ‘Factors associated with an effective transition from children’s to adult services by young adults with life-limiting conditions in Ireland.’

  • ‘The usefulness and acceptability of a personal-health record to children and young people living with a complex health condition.’

  •  ‘An exploration of the impact on registered nurses of working in ward-based oncology care.’ 

  • ‘An evaluation of the development of audio-visual aids when teaching communication skills to undergraduate nursing students.’

  • ‘Students journey through a BSc(Hons) Psychological Trauma Studies programme in the context of a post conflict society in Northern Ireland.’

 

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Research Output

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    Prizes

    Florence Nightingale Travel Scholarship Award

    Helen Kerr (Recipient), Oct 2016

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Marcia Mackie award

    Helen Kerr (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Palliative Care Congress Conference bursary award

    Helen Kerr (Recipient), Mar 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Runner up at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year 2016

    Helen Kerr (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Activities

    Registered nurses’ perspectives of the impact of completing the Specialist Practice in Oncology qualification, on their patient care and clinical practice: a qualitative study

    Helen Kerr (Host), Oonagh McSorley (Contributor), Monica Donovan (Contributor), Joanne Cullen (Contributor), Fiona Reddick (Contributor)
    01 Oct 201930 Jun 2020

    Activity: Other activity typesOther

    4th International children's palliative care conference

    Helen Kerr (Invited speaker)
    21 Nov 201922 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Palliative Medicine (Journal)

    Helen Kerr (Peer reviewer)
    Jan 2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    International Psycho-Oncology Society

    Helen Kerr (Participant), Sara Mone (Contributor)
    23 Sep 201926 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference