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Professor Dianne Watkins receives OBE in Queen’s Honours List

14 October 2020

Professor Dianne Watkins, Professor of Public Health Nursing at School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, has been awarded an OBE for her services to Nursing Education and Research.

Her new title comes in recognition of her influential work over the past 40 years which has helped shape the profession of nursing, not only in Wales and the UK, but in countries such as Germany, Oman, Namibia and Malawi.

Speaking of her award, Professor Watkins said; “I am delighted and honoured to be included in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list and to receive an OBE as recognition of the work I have done to promote the profession of nursing nationally and internationally”

“My nursing career has been the most incredible journey and has allowed me to work with people and in countries where I have felt privileged to help develop the profession of nursing, in an attempt to improve care given to patients”.

A prominent and internationally acclaimed nurse, educator and researcher, Professor Watkins first graduated as a Nurse in 1979, a Health Visitor in 1983 and entered the world of ‘higher education’ in 1990.

Shaping Nursing Education in Wales

Notable achievements of Professor Watkins include being part of the team that developed degree education for all nurses in Wales as well as the first Non-Medical Prescribing programme for the country. In addition, she worked on the development of Advanced Practice Principles and modernisation of community education, in partnership with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

Professor Watkins has made a significant contribution to the work of local Health Boards. She was an Independent Member of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board from 2016- December 2019, chairing several of its Committees on Quality and Patient Safety, Planning and Strategic Change, and Research & Development. Today, in addition to her Cardiff University role, Professor Watkins is a member of the Cardiff & Vale Nursing and Midwifery Board and Aneurin Bevan Strategic Education Committee, as well as a member of the Council of Deans Wales, representing Wales as the Lead for Global Policy on the UK group.

Her work beyond the UK

At an international level, Professor Watkins is a prominent and well-respected Nursing leader. In Germany, Professor Watkins delivered a MSc in Nursing and researched the effects of Masters level education on the professionalisation of both German and British nurses. On behalf of the Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman, she developed a BSc (hons) Degree in Nursing Studies that resulted in over 800 qualified nurses obtaining a degree from Cardiff University. Watkins also developed the first Degree in Community Nursing for the Sultanate of Oman and helped develop their community nursing service.

The positive impact of Professor Watkins’ work extends into Africa, where she has worked closely with the University of Namibia to transform their Public Health teaching and to implement a Nurse Leadership programme in the country. In collaboration with the University of Malawi, Professor Watkins has worked to improve standards of nursing across Malawi, with particular emphasis on the assessment of clinical skills, mental health education, management of chronic conditions and public health. Furthermore, from achieving Erasmus Plus and GCRF funding, Professor Watkins established a Practice Development Unit in a Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Here, she has audited clinical practice, delivered leadership and quality improvement training and is currently in the process of improving ward cleanliness in order to promote infection control, to develop multi professional working and to improve the care of patients with diabetes.

This year’s honours list, which is usually published in June when the Queen celebrates her official birthday, was released on Saturday, so that individuals who played critical roles in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic could be added. The full list can be viewed here.

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