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PhD (Second supervisor – successful completion 2009)
<br/>Exploring the meaning of participation in nursing care: the old persons’ perspective in the community

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Personal profile


Tonks is a graduate of the City University, London and St Bartholomew's Hospital nursing degree programme, and has had a long career in nurse education at the University of Edinburgh. She became Professor of Student Learning (Nurse Education) in 2012.

Tonks holds key responsibilities in the undergraduate and post graduate nursing programmes, teaching extensively both theoretically and clinically She has been particularly closely involved as Clinical Lead in the undergraduate student nurses' clinical placement learning and practice and has enthusiastically maintained a strong clinically based teaching and learning focus throughout her academic career.

From 2013-17 Tonks was Programme Director of an innovative Masters of Nursing in Clinical Research and Senior Personal Tutor for the School of Health in Social Science from 2012-16. Since January 2015 Tonks has been Associate Dean for Student Conduct for the College of Humanities and Social Science. In 2014 she was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Tonks has published widely in academic and professional journals over the years. She was co-editor of the first three editions of the major nursing textbook Nursing Practice: Hospital and Home - The Adult published by Elsevier. She is co-author of Altschul's Psychology for Nurses published by Bailliere Tindall, co-author of Pathophysiology, Homeostasis and Nursing published by Routledge and co-editor of Perspectives on Cancer Care published by Wiley Blackwell.

Tonks’s research interests and activities include cancer care and survivorship, pain management, clinical skills, clinical decision making, clinical support of learner nurses and stress in nursing. Currently her research focus is on the role of the biosciences in nurse education and the student nurse knowledge and skills required for care home nursing.

Tonks has also successfully supervised students towards their doctorate degrees. Her aim has always been to equip students of nursing with the critical and compassionate ability to understand, work and lead in 21st century systems of health and nursing care provision.


1974:    BSc (Hons) Social Science 1st class. City University, London, SRN/RGN St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London

1984:   MSc in Nursing Education (with distinction), University of Edinburgh  Registered Nurse Teacher

2000:     Member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

2009:    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2014:    Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Pain, Cancer Care, Student Clinical learning, Clinical Decision Making


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