Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Mrs Claire Harris

Mrs Claire Harris


Profile summary

Web links

Professional biography

I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse and Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing. I have a BA (Hons) Philosophy, DipHE RNMH, PGDip (Health and Social Care Educator) and MA Education by Negotiated Learning (Dist), and am currently studying for the Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and the Masters degree in Forensic Psychological Studies with the OU.

I have 30 years of clinical, teaching and research experience in mental health practice. My clinical experiences have been within acute adult psychiatric admissions wards, intensive recovery services for people with severe mental illness, and within a specialist psychological trauma treatment service. I moved into Higher Education as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health in 2009, and after 10 years working in nurse education within brick Universities, joined the OU in Jan 2020 as a Staff Tutor before moving to the central academic team in 2022. 

My research and teaching interests include: liminality, professional socialisation, transition and threshold concepts in nurse education, and I closely follow developments in psychological trauma therapy, psychosis, complex grief and the impact of the self in therapeutic work.

I am also looking at how language is used in healthcare  in collaboration with academic colleagues in Languages and Applied Linguistics (LAL). 

Current work includes:  

  • Academic Conduct Officer for the Faculty
  • Programme Lead for the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship
  • Co-chair for KXY234 (Level 2 Nursing Associate module)
  • Module chair for KXY807 (Advanced Clinical Practice End Point Assessment)
  • Module team K211
  • Module team K219
  • Member of Athena Swan project team

Since joining the OU I have drawn on my experience both as a mental health practitioner and nurse educator to author on modules in Nursing, HSC, ACP and Social Work:

  • KYN326-9 (Nursing)
  • K123 (Social Work/Social Care)
  • K243 (Health and Social Care/Open)
  • KXY807 (Advanced Clinical Practice)
  • KXY234 (Nursing Associate)

Outside the day job I am a School Governor for a large 11-16 Community Academy Trust, and I continue to work as a clinical supervisor in palliative care. 


Research interests

Liminality, professional socialisation, transition and threshold concepts in  nurse education.

Interprofessional learning and working in health and social care

Psychological trauma and the evidence base for psychotherapy

Grief and recovery

Supporting staff working with loss, death and dying

Member of Open Thanatology Research Group

Member of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK (MHNAUK)

Teaching interests

Psychological therapies

Trauma and recovery

Loss and grief

Communication skills 

Complex mental health

Interprofessional learning

Leadership and clinical decision making

Clinical supervision



Impact and engagement


Evans C A & Kevern P (2015) Liminality in preregistration mental health nurse education: A review of the literature, Nurse Education in Practice, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 1-6

Harris C A (2021) “Finding Comfort and Truth in Une Mort Tres Douce” in Narratives of Covid: Loss, Dying, Death and Grief during Covid 19, edited by Erica Borgstrom and Sharon Mallon 

Harris C A and Murcott W (2023) A disorder- or just me? Life with Bipolar, Open Learn

Borgstrom, E., Harris, C. A., Kerry, J., and Mallon. S. (2023) Bereavement during employment in Higher Education (UK): 2023 Survey Report. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Borgstrom, E., Harris, C. A., Kerry, J., and Mallon. S. (2023) Compassion and care: staff experiences of death, the role of bereavement policies in higher education , Open Learn


Academic Journal "Death Studies"

Academic Consultant 

BBC Ideas "What is Therapy?"

BBC Connect


Bereavement during employment in Higher Education (UK): 2023 Survey Report (2023-05-05)
Borgstrom, Erica; Harris, Claire A.; Jones, Kerry and Mallon, Sharon
The Open University, Milton Keynes.