Staff profile

Debbie Watkinson

Senior Lecturer in Nursing

Debbie Watkinson standing next to a computer showing a screen about assessing patients, smiling




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Nursing and Midwifery


St Helena, Chesterfield



I was born in Chesterfield and have lived here pretty much all my life. I am a senior lecturer in pre-registration nursing working at the St Helena site. My career has been long and varied and I have worked in many different locations but in terms of location, I have not really flown far from the nest.

I was at school in the 1970s at St Helena, I trained as a nurse at the old Chesterfield Royal Hospital (now the Kennings building next door to the St Helena site) I then trained as a midwife at the old Scarsdale Hospital at the bottom of Newbold Road.

I qualified as a nurse in 1983 and had a variety of staff nurses posts including care for the elderly, neuro-surgery and intensive care. In 1985, I trained as a midwife and practised midwifery for almost 20 years working both in the delivery suite and in the community. Part of my role as a midwife was a secondment working with teenage parents. This role had a lot of teaching in it both to young people and to professionals and this is where I gained my passion for teaching.

I joined the University of Derby in 2007 teaching BTEC health and social care and assessing NVQs in health and social care. While I loved working in FE, my passion has always been to teach adult nurses and midwives so in 2014 I applied and was honoured to be offered the post of lecturer in adult nursing. This has been the most exciting and interesting part of my career so far.

Teaching responsibilities

I am currently programme lead for student experience in the BSc adult nursing programme, a role I hugely enjoy working to support students through their programme and upholding the standards set out in the NMC code. I now have responsibility for student experience across the whole programme.

My main teaching responsibilities are teaching in stage 3 of the adult nursing programme. I am responsible for preparing student nurses for qualifying. I teach advanced clinical skills and embed team working, leadership and managment into this.

My role includes embedding theory into practice. I work extensively within a simulated environment, using the simulation to facilitate learning basic clinical skills up to high-fidelity complex patients and ward scenarios. This method of teaching is a powerful way of building students' confidence and helping them to develop skills like clinical decision-making and differential diagnosis. The students love this type of teaching.

Professional interests

My professional interests are wide. I have a keen interest in all aspects of nursing. I am dual qualified so continue to have an interest in midwifery, I lead a maternal mental health workshop for stage 2 adult nursing students. I hold a diploma in contraception and sexual health, I completed BASHH training and until September 2016, I continued to work clinically in sexual health clinics. I was contracted for 6 hours per week but had to resign due to increased pressures from my full-time lecturer’s role at the University of Derby. I continue to be very interested in Sexual and Reproductive Health supporting several students with independent studies focused on sexual health for example cervical screening, HIV, chlamydia and HPV.

I have worked in critical care and continue to be interested in critical care nursing particularly sepsis and working with acutely ill patients.

I am part of the special interest in the clinical simulation group at the university and work to develop a simulated practice for students.

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have worked in the following areas clinically:

Additional interests and activities

I am a keen football fan. I support my local club, Chesterfield. I also love other sports including cricket. I love being outdoors walking my little dog and enjoy socialising with family and friends.

Recent publications