Dr Chris Thurston

Head of Department Adult and Mental Health Nursing

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Nursing & Midwifery

Location: Chelmsford

Chris uses her expertise and commitment to enhance the teaching of students, drawing upon both nursing and research excellence. This is achieved by supporting the staff in the department in their roles of working with students and her own supervision of students from undergraduate through to doctoral level.



Christina has both specifically and generally supported a significant number of staff in their academic development; including the use of formal mentoring systems for new staff and by offering support and advice to any staff who have queries about the university rules and regulations and how to support students. A colleague has commented that she is an excellent role model to her, both in the support offered to her when she was a new member of staff, but also as a lifelong learner as Christina has continued to study throughout her university career.

Her enthusiastic and flexible approach and her excellent interpersonal and negotiating skills have generated trust and confidence in both the students and staff she has worked with in the university over the last 19 years. She has taught students at all levels from first year undergraduates; through to Masters, including supervision of PhD’s. Through her own PhD undertaken at ARU, she has shared the outcomes at many conferences and discussed the issues in the book she co-authored, which was aimed at students undertaking programmes around children and young people’s welfare. She continues to use her findings in teaching with students.

Research interests

  • Transition
  • Children with long term conditions
  • Children and surgery
  • Children and orthopedics
  • Transition from student to staff nurse

Professional development includes completing a PhD and sharing the outcomes through publications and conferences. An enhancement of her practice was as the Regional Coordinator Eastern for the RiCH (Research in Child Health) network for the local region working alongside academic and health trust colleagues. She continues to develop research skills by undertaking further research with colleagues including a study on the educational needs of school nurses in sexual health delivery. Scholarly skills are further enhanced by continuing publications and conference presentation activities. Further development in using new technologies to enhance opportunities for students/potential students has occurred when working on the faculty’s iTunes U launch. She has shown development of a multitude of skills and also supporting others to advance theirs, in teaching and assessing, but also in research and publications.

Areas of research supervision

Chris would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • Most areas of nursing, adult or child 
  • Nurse education 
  • Transition 
  • International nursing 
  • Fitness to practice

Recent and current doctoral supervision as first supervisor:

  • Fitness for practice within pre-registration nurse education – whose responsibility? (current)
  • Exploring previous learning experiences of international students when studying higher degrees in the UK (current)


Christina has supported staff in a number of ways, from mentoring new staff colleagues, to assessing colleagues undertaking the criterion to gain a recordable teaching qualification and has supported a number of staff in their own successful applications for the Academy of Teaching and Learning. She's also developed new learning materials for staff and students both for face-to-face and e-learning. She has networked with staff to encourage the enhancement of teaching, and therefore student learning. She has the ability to lead and develop others, and to manage change, she is able to think innovatively and creatively.

Selected recent publications

Books and chapters
Thurston, C. (ed) 2013, Essential Nursing Care for Children and Young People

Thurston, C. Safeguarding Individuals and Families Ed, Northrop, M. Crow J., Kraszewski S., Studying For A Foundation Degree In Healthcare: An Essential Text (publication 2015)

Poster publication
2010 October Poster 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Life And Transitional Experiences Of Eight Young People With Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

February 2012 RCN Education Conference

Experiences and Training in Delivering Sexual Health Care

July 2012 Turnitin Plagiarism Conference:

Using e-Submission and e-Marking to Enhance the Student Experience the Faculty of Health Social Care and Education: Including Planning, Implementation and Evaluation

Recent presentations and conferences

Mar 2011 Presentation International Women’s Day Anglia Ruskin University: The Problem Is Women Have Families

May 2011 Presentation East of England Projects: Children and Young People’s Palliative and Urgent Care, Young People’s Perspective On Transition

September 2011 workshop lead ARU Research Conference: Turnitin and Using Grademark