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Dr Naomi Watson

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Professional biography

Dr Naomi Anna Watson  is  a nursing  academic in  the Faculty of WELS. Her  research interests span a range of areas across  Distance  Nursing Education and Practice, Cultural Competence, Ethnicity and nursing careers, and Black women’s health and wellbeing in the context of health inequalities, Diversity, Ethnicity, and Inclusion. Her most recent research projects  focussed on: 1.Student nurses, nursing curriculums and emergency responses to Covid-19.  2.  Distance nursing education and the student experience of Covid-19 drawing on nursing and social work students and alumni as professional student practitioners. 

Naomi  is a Doctoral supervisior, of  students researching any of the above areas and is open to receive students for supervision as appropriate. 

She is also a  research  mentor, supporting newly qualified Doctoral candidates as research affiliates and staff new to writing for textbook preparation and publication. 

University Roles

  Deputy Associate Dean, teaching excellence, Naomi's  recent role included contribution to the strategic direction of tutor development and student learning and teaching. She actively ensures quality outcomes that contribute to improving student participation and success while also enabling a better understanding of the student voice.   

  Media Consultant for the BAFTA nominated BBC's Black and British programme, co-produced with the OU. The programme won the Grierson Award  and is also now available on NETFIX, since 2023.

 Faculty's External Examiner trainer for the OU's Advanced HE's External Examiner Training programme, she contributed to delivering this trainng across all four Nations of the UK, served by the OU, thus expanding the numbers of academics trained according to the standards of Advance HE.   

Academic Conduct Officer for the Faculty, contributing to the university's quality assurance processes in the context of academic misconduct and plagiarism. 

. Timelins for roles include:

2021-2023 Deputy Associate Dean- Teaching  Excellence:

2021-2022: OU Joint Media Consultant for Co-Production:  We are Black and British.  Aired on February 23rd & 24th, BBC 1.  Winner of 2022 Grierson British Documentary award. Nominated for the BAFTA Award. Currently showing on NETFIX. 

2022-current:     Member Open University Research Ethics Committee. 

2021-current:     Member Open University’s WELS’ PRAXIS Scholarship Committee.

2023 September-March 2024:  ECR Fellowship Academy Award.

2018-2022 : Open University trainer for OU's Advaced HE's External Examiner Training. 

2014-2022: Open University Academic Conduct Officer.  

She holds a PhD In Nursing from DeMontfort University's Mary Seacole Research Centre, and a Masters in Public Sector Management from the Aston Business School, University of Aston in Birmingham

 Additionaly, Naomi  contributes to the Facuty's Masters and Doctoral Programmes as monitor, supervisor and VIVA Chair. She participated in  the Faculty's  early establishment and  ongoing development of the undergraduate  Health, Social Care and  Nursing curricula spanning a period of 15 years. She has been a core member of production teams including the flagship innovative Future Nurse Curricumum (FNC) development, authoring and co-authoring a number of teaching and learning materials, whiich is  now successfully launched into presentation. Naomi was previously module chair for an innovative level 2  theory only module which  successfully served a variety of  student cohorts, including undergraduate RN students, RN Degree apprentice students and Nursing Associates (NA's).   She has supported postgraduate Master's programmes in the faculty,  and continues to contribute to a number of  other undergrduate modules in presentation as monitor, internal examiner, Lead portfolio assessor and  forum facilitator. 

Prior to being appointed at the Open University, Naomi was a Senior Lecturer and School Lead for interprofessional Education, in another HEI, collaborating across two universities to  coordinate a successful innovative community  learning and teaching initiative for combined medical, nursing, and other allied health professional undergraduate students. Naomi also developed and  led  a  successful  innovative development of Primary Care Nursing education for final year undergraduates, which became an essential criteria for RN  employment in community nursing environments. 

Naomi has practiced  in the NHS as a Registered Nurse (RN Adult), a Senior Midwife and a Specialist Practitioner in Health Visiting. She is also a  Clinical Practice Educator and currently holds NMC registration. 



Research interests

Distance Nursing Education and Practice.

Cultural Competence in  Healthcare.

Ethnicity, diversity and inclusion in nursing careers.

Health Inequalities in health and social care.

 Nursing, Midwifery and Heath Visiting  Practice in Pimary Care.

Research methods include qualitative/quantitative and mixed methodologies, with experience of  narratives,  storytelling and participatory/action research enquiries. Cross cutting  interests range across  discourses inclusive of intersectionality, and the extent to which  gender,  race, social class  and other characterstics impact on the experiences of global majority people in health, education, social care and nursing practice. 

Funded  research projects:  

2021 - 2022    Internal:  (As PI) RESDEV & PRAXIS Co-Funded Project: Student nurses, nursing curriculums and emergency responses to Covid-19-: a scoping review: £ 3043.76 

2022-2023      Internal:  (As PI) RESDEV & PRAXIS Co-Funded Project: The Impact of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of current students and recent graduates of OU professional programmes -  £3804.53


2023-2024:   Open University  Early Career Researchers'  (ECR)  Fellowship Award  £5000.  

  Conference Presentations

July 2023: Impact and implications of the continued drain of qualified nursing and health care personnel from the Global South to support failing Wealthy Health Care Systems in the Global North: The Case of the British NHS.   University of Lusake Zambia. 

October 2022: Student Nurses, nursing curriculums and emergency rsponses to Covid-19: a scoping review: NET/NEP, Barcelona. 

2015: Cultural competence and its impact on African Caribbean Seniors.   BASW Conference, Glasgow Caledonia University

2018: Cultural Competence and the role of the Doula in disadvantaged communities.  Caribbean Studies Association.

Collaborative projects include the following:

2013: Resistance, Resilence and renewal- The health and wellbeibg of black women across the diaspora. (collaborative).

2000: An evaluation of the 1998 developent for Black and Minority Ethnic Managers in the NHS. (University of Warwick and DeMontfort University.

2000: A study to investigate the need for appropriate respite care provision for African Caribbean carers and  elders. (Leicestershire Health, Leicester City Council, DeMontfort University).

She is a member of the faculty's research group, the nursing research group, the Black women's health and wellbeng research network and the Wellbeing of Women Research Network.

Doctoral Supervision:


Narratives of Care:  Kip Jones - DeMontfort University-   PhD  Successful Completion. 

   A Holistic Approach to the assessment of students with Learning Difficulties.- EdD;  Elizabeth Smith,  Successful Completion  


Whats the story? Exploring inequalities in outcomes through the narratives of Black and Brown students in a distance learning setting.  In progress. 

 Recruitment of BAME Nursing students at the OU -   EdD In Progress. 



Open to acccept  Doctoral students wishing to explore topics relating to nursing participation, education, practice, cultural competence, equality, diversity and inclusion and Black Women's Health and Wellbeing. .



Teaching interests

Naomi brings  wide ranging expertise from clinical practice, educational and interdisciplinary perspectives to her teaching, having vast experience of curriculum  develpoment, design and delivery at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. She has a keen interest in fostering student success and is passionate about prioritising this through excellent teaching, inclusve learning and  effective student  and tutor support. She teaches at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels along with Doctoral supervision responsibilities..  Areas she has taught include the following:

Change Management in education and healthcare practice.

Care management and governance in health care.

Child  Care and Health promotion.

Communication and diversity

Cultural understanding and Cultural Competence in health care.

Diverse perspectives in health and illness, including, menopause, safeguarding, formal care, health, illness health and care, safeguarding, biological perspectives in nursing, disabiity in healthcare.

Diversity/Ethnicity, Nursing, Health, education and Social Care.

Distance Education,

Independent Learning,

Interprofessional learning in clinical practice and  nursing education.

Primary Care Nursing

Public  Health and Private Medicine.

Specialist Practice in Health Visiting.


Impact and engagement

Naomi fosters and encourages partnerships and collaborative relationships with third sector organisations and individuals that support the health and wellbeing of black women.  She  works with individuals and groups serving these communities and continues to provide academic leadership and guidance to those needing such support for their endeavours. 

She was an invited speaker to the Retired  Caribbean Nurses Conference, London in 2015, and the Windrush  Conference 70 years of the NHS, Birmingham University in 2018.  

External collaborations

She has Previously served as Associate editor of the Journal of Ethnicity and Health,

 Is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA -Advancedd HE), 

 Reviewer for the Journal of Nursing Management,  

Reviewer for the  Journal of Qualitative Research in health and a

Reviewer for Science Talks- Elsevier.

External Examiner Bournemouth University 

External Assessor  Bournemouth University. 


She is  an active volunteer mentor and coach to women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, having served as a mentor to the Girls Network. (TGN) and as a volunteer with Barnados, the childrens charity.

Naomi is a Member of the  Caribbean Studies Association. (CSA)

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Department of Nursing Research GroupResearch GroupFaculty of Health and Social Care
FHSC Teaching and Learning Research GroupResearch GroupFaculty of Health and Social Care


Here to Stay.. so.. Deal With It.. Experiences and Perceptions of Black British African Caribbean People about Nursing Careers. (2017-05-31)
Watson, Naomi Anna
ISBN : 978-3-330-32160-1 | Publisher : Lambert Academic Publishing | Published : Germany

Communication and diversity (2019)
Watson, Naomi Anna
In: Norman, Kay ed. Communication Skills for Nursing and Healthcare Students (pp. 105-123)
ISBN : 9781908625779 | Publisher : Lantern Publishing | Published : Banbury

User engagement and African Caribbean experiences in child and family services (2010)
Watson, Naomi
In: Guishard-Pine, Jeune ed. Psychology, Race Equality and Working with Children
ISBN : 9781858564746 | Publisher : Trentham Books | Published : London

Nursing in primary care: An introduction (2001-10)
Watson, Naomi A.
In: Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds. Nursing in Primary Care: A Handbook for Students (pp. 1-28)
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke

Equal value, equal care: Differences and diversity, primary care perspectives (2001-10)
Watson, Naomi A.
In: Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds. Nursing in Primary Care: A Handbook for Students (pp. 119-138)
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Baskingstoke

Coping with chronic illness in primary care settings (2001-10)
Watson, Nicola A.
In: Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds. Nursing in Primary Care: A Handbook for Students (pp. 223-239)
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke

Conclusion: The future of nursing in primary care (2001-10)
Watson, Nicola A.
In: Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds. Nursing in Primary Care: A Handbook for Students
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke

Assessing the needs of individuals and communities (2001)
Watson, Naomi A.
In: Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds. Nursing in primary care: A handbook for students
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Baskingstoke

Nursing in primary care: A handbook for students (2001-10)
Watson, Naomi A. and Wilkinson, Carol eds.
ISBN : 9780333781920 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Baskingstoke

Impact and implications of the continued drain of qualified nursing and health care personnel from the global south to support failing wealthy health care systems in the global north: the case of the British NHS (2023-07)
Watson, Naomi Anna
In : Trans-Atlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race (10-14 Jul 2023, University of Lusaka, Zambia)

Exploring the role of support in the lived experiences of Black British African Caribbean nurses as students and staff in the British NHS (2013-09-12)
Watson, Naomi
In : Blackness in Britain (12 Sep 2013, Newman University, Birmingham)

The personal costs of caring: nurses and nursing work (2013)
Watson, Naomi
In : Caribbean Studies Association 38th Annual Conference (3-7 Jun 2013, Grenada)

Career choices of British born African Caribbean young people, their perceptions of carers in health care and nursing. Implications for culturally sensitive health care and diversity initiatives in the UK NHS (2009)
Watson, Naomi
In : Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference (1-5 Jun 2009, Kingston, Jamaica)

The contribution of Mary Seacole to nursing in the British health care system (2008)
Watson, Naomi
In : Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference (26-30 May 2008, San Andrés Isla, Colombia)

An evaluation of the 1998 development programme for black and minority ethnic managers in the West Midlands NHS: the final report of a twenty month longitudinal study (2000)
Czespura, A.; Johnson, M.; Miles, P.; Watson, N. and Pawar, A.
Warwick Business School, Centre for Health Services Studies