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Dr Gemma Ryan

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Nursing
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Nursing
  • g.s.ryan

Professional biography

Gemma has a diverse background as a qualified teacher with QTLS/QTS and is also a registered adult nurse and nurse teacher. 

Her experience includes secondary, further and higher education (maths, biology, health & social care), research management, private and NHS healthcare (community and acute setting).  She holds a Doctor of Nursing, MSc Professional Education and PGCertHE obtained from DeMontfort University; BSc (Hons) Health & Social Care and PGCertAdvancing Healthcare Practice from the Open University.  Gemma has extensive experience in online and distance education at a range of academic levels.  Her professional doctoral study examined the concept of professionalism and social media.  


Research interests

Gemma currently works on a range of research projects with a particular interest in professionalism, accountability (including the legal aspects of this), online social networks and social media in healthcare and healthcare education.  Ongoing research involves raising awareness of, assessment and decision making for [un]professional behaviours of nurses in social media, 'e-professionalism' policy, guidance and interventions., realist review into OSN and SM interventions for reducing obesity.  Other interests include realist ethnography and realist methodologies.   

Teaching interests

Gemma has a diverse teaching background with a particular focus on nursing, health and social care and interprofessional education in the online environment.  She is also interested in the use of participatory social media technologies such as blogging for reflection in partnership with students; including the use of this to teach research methods and theory.  In complement to her research interests, critical realist principles and embedding these into pedagogic practices are part of her approach to the design and delivery of online materials.  

Gemma has many years experience in the validation, development, design and delivery of online focused modules and programmes.  

Impact and engagement

Social workers & social media: a webinar debating the issues for social work students (2018) 

ADHD One Stop Shop: a nurse-lead, multi-agency clinic for children and young people with ADHD.  This project changed the way ADHD services were delivered in a community trust.  

DRIFT project: Nomination for ‘Health and Care in Health Tech and You’ Awards 2016

Advertorial/Editorial for Health Times (print & online) (2015) University of Derby Online Learning is proud to value inter-professional practice and education, 15 November 2015: 14

ADHD information on social media: An interview with Gemma Ryan, 24th October 2014  

DRIFT project, ADHD research on social media: An interview with Gemma Ryan, BBC Radio Derby 23rd October 2014

EMAHSN Innovation in healthcare awards, mental health category winners, 22nd October 2014; DRIFT: Disseminating Research Information through Facebook & Twitter


Research Activity

Externally funded projects

Validation & evaluation of a decision-making tool for assessing behaviours and incidents involving nurses on social media

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Feb/201831/Mar/2019Burdett Trust Burdett Trust for Nursing
PRISM: Professional Regulation In Social Media. AIM: Validate the A2A decision making tool to assist nurses, managers, academics and professional organisations to make consistent decisions about nursing related incidents and reported behaviours on social media. This will also serve to raise awareness of e-professionalism and manage risk. OBJECTIVES: I. Assess & validate the consistency of the decision-making tool through responses from nurses, nursing students and the public on a series of vignettes II. Evaluate the consistency and usability of the tool through qualitative and quantitative feedback III. Make recommendations for consistent assessment of professional and unprofessional behaviours on social media IV. Disseminate the tool to stakeholders through a range of methods


Philosophy & quality? TAPUPASM as an approach to rigour in critical realist research (2019-03-18)
Ryan, Gemma and Rutty, Jane
Nurse Researcher, 27, Article e1590(1) (pp. 33-40)
Disseminating Research Information through Facebook and Twitter (DRIFT): presenting an evidence based framework (2018-05-31)
Ryan, Gemma S and Sfar-Gandoura, Hanah
Nurse Researcher, 26, Article e1562(1)
Introduction to positivism, interpretivism and critical theory (2018)
Ryan, Gemma
Nurse Researcher, 25(4) (pp. 41-49)
Postpositivist, critical realism: philosophy, methodology and method for nursing research (2018)
Ryan, Gemma S. and Rutty, Jane
Nurse Researcher ((Early Access))
Barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking group exercise in older people living with dementia in the community: a systematic review protocol (2018)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Deepak-Gopinath, Manik; Dadova, Klara; Borgstrom, Erica; Ryan, Gemma; Gracia, Rosaria and Holland, Caroline
PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews, Article CRD42018114173
Evaluation of a drop-in clinic for young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (2017-06-12)
Sfar-Gandoura, Hanah; Ryan, Gemma Sinead and Melvin, Gail
Nursing Children & Young People, 29(5) (pp. 24-32)
An introduction to the origins, history and principles of ethnography (2017-03-22)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
Nurse Researcher, 24(4) (pp. 15-21)
Enhancing Nursing Student Success: A Critical Realist Framework of Modifiable Factors (2016-12-05)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
Archives of Nursing Practice and Care, 2(1) (pp. 57-70)
International perspectives on social media guidance for nurses: a content analysis (2016-12-01)
Ryan, Gemma
Nursing Management, 23(8) (pp. 28-35)
Development and evaluation of an online, interactive information and advice tool for pre-registration nursing students (2016-03)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead and Davies, Fiona
Nurse Education in Practice, 17 (pp. 214-222)
Evaluation of an educational website for parents of children with ADHD (2015-11-30)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead; Haroon, Munib and Melvin, Gail
International Journal of Medical Informatics, 84(11) (pp. 974-981)
Review of the evidence for adolescent and young person specific, community-based health services for NHS managers (2015)
Ryan, Gemma
Journal of Children's Services, 10(1) (pp. 57-75)
A nurse-led sleep service for children and young people with disability (2014-06-25)
Ryan, Gemma; Burton, Louise and Bromley, Debbie
Primary Health Care, 24(6) (pp. 16-23)
Online social networks for patient involvement and recruitment in clinical research (2013-09-01)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
Nurse Researcher, 21(1) (pp. 35-39)
What is the effectiveness of dimethylglycine in treating autistic symptoms in children: a systematic review (2012-10-01)
Haroon, M.; Ryan, G.; Randell, M.; Wilson, J. and Khatau, T.
Archives of Disease in Childhood, 97(Suppl 2) (A183-A184)
Going 4D: Embedding the Four Dimensional Framework for Curriculum Design (2016-08-27)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead; Cuthbert, Kate; Dryden, Tanya; Baker, Denise and Forman, Dawn
In: Forman, Dawn; Jones, Marion and Thistlethwaite, Joan eds. Leading Research and Evaluation in Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (pp. 99-121)
ISBN : 978-1-137-53744-7 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London
Awareness into Action (A2A): a tool for making decisions about professionalism on social media (2018-05-01)
Ryan, Gemma S and Cornock, Marc
In : 2nd Digital Health and Wellbeing Conference (1-3 May 2018, Open University, Milton Keynes)
Professionalism in Social Media: The 3Cs rule (2018-04-17)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : RCN International Research Conference (16-18 Apr 2018, University of Birmingham Medical School)
Critical realist ethnography: from philosophy to the practice of research analysis. (2017-04)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2017 (4-7 Apr 2017, Oxford)
What do nurses do in professional Facebook groups and how can we explain their behaviours? (2017-04)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : RCN International Nursing Research Conference 2017 (5-7 Apr 2017, Oxford)
Professional socialisation, accountability and social media: what’s the relationship and should we care? (2017-03)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : Nursing education and professional development: the global perspective Conference and exhibition hosted by the RCN Education Forum (21-22 Mar 2017, Cardiff, Wales)
Engaging, Listening, Informing: Using social media in disseminating clinical research to patients & the public (2016-06)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead and Sfar-Gandoura, Hanah
In : 2nd International Health Forum; International Health Conference 2016 (20-22 Jun 2016, Kings College London)
ADHD One Stop Shop: a nurse-led, multi-agency drop in clinic for young people with ADHD (2016-04)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead and Sfar-Gandoura, Hanah
In : RCN International Research Conference 2016 (6-8 Apr 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland)
International perspectives on social media guidance for nurses: a content analysis (2015-04)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : RCN International Nursing Research Conference 2015 (20-22 Apr 2015, Nottingham, UK)
4Es of good degrees: what makes pre-registration nurses successful in achieving good degrees (2015-03)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : RCN Education forum international conference and exhibition 2015 (10-11 Mar 2015, Nottingham, UK)
Can the use of a Facebook group in addition to classroom teaching enhance exam success in a Drug Calculations module? (2014-06)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead
In : The 5th International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP 2014) (22-25 Jun 2014, Noordwijekhout, Netherlands)
SOS: SignpOSt - Support & advice needs of Nursing Students; focus group perspectives in developing an online, interactive support tool (2014-06)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead and Davies, Fiona
In : The 5th International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP 2014) (22-25 Jun 2014, Noordwijekhout, Netherlands)
Achieving ‘Time and Target’: Lessons Learnt from a community based, observational multi-site NIHR portfolio research study (2014)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead; Melvin, Gail; Hartwell, Lynne; Pringle, Thomas and Haroon, Munib
In : Health Services Research Network Symposium 2014 (19-20 Jun 2014, Nottingham)
Proposed research study into the age at death and cause of death in Gypsies & Travellers (2012)
Ryan, Gemma Sinead; Melvin, Gail and Hartwell, Lynne
In : Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Annual Research Conference (May 2012, Leicester, UK)
Professionalism in Social Media - The 3C's rule (2017)
Ryan, Gemma
Permission to be proud (2015-11-15)
Ryan, Gemma
Health Times
ADHD information on social media: An interview with Gemma Ryan (2014-11)
Ryan, Gemma and Cashin-Garbutt, April [Interviewer]
DRIFT project, ADHD research on social media: An interview with Gemma Ryan (2014-10-23)
Ryan, Gemma
BBC Radio Derby


OU student wins Care Apprentice Award

Heather always wanted to be a mental health nurse, having worked as a carer for a number of years. When she was given the chance by her employer to study for an Open University course in Health Care Practise, she grabbed the opportunity. Earlier this year, Heather was awarded the Care Apprentice Award at the National Care Awards, as Carers Week begins, she talks about her journey with The OU.

10th June 2019
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