Chief Executive

Dr Theresa Shaw NursD, BA (Hons) Nursing Education, RNT, RN
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Theresa is passionate about nursing and enabling nurses to flourish as caring, knowledgeable and skilled practitioners. As CEO, she is proud of the work FoNS has contributed to this and to developing nursing practice and improving the patient experience of care. Her doctoral research offers an important view into the impact of practice development and service improvement activity and ways in which such work can contribute to the creation of more person centred practice and culture.


Theresa has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. She worked in the NHS for 17 years during which time her experience spanned clinical nursing, nurse education and practice development. Whilst her clinical expertise lies in the field of cardio-thoracic nursing, Theresa has worked with and supported nurses and nurse-led teams across healthcare practice. She has held several External Examiner positions for academic institutions and chaired the NICE Guideline Development Group for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Theresa is currently a member of the International Advisory Board for the journal Nurse Education in Practice and a member of the editorial team for the International Practice Development Journal. She is regularly invited to speak locally and nationally on enabling practice based development and research in nursing, transformation and leadership. Theresa is currently an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University, England, UK and is also very pleased to have an honorary practice development role at Queen’s Hospital, Romford where she is piloting FoNS’ Creating Caring Cultures initiative with frontline staff on the Medical Assessment Unit. Most recently, Theresa was proud to be named on the inaugural Nursing Times Leaders List, celebrating the most inspirational role models in nursing.


Dr Theresa Shaw

Practice Development Facilitators

Kate Sanders MSc, BSc (Hons), RHV, RN
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Kate Sanders joined the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) as a Practice Development Facilitator about 15 years ago. Prior to this she worked clinically in a variety of acute and community settings where she became increasingly interested and involved in activities and initiatives to improve practice. At FoNS, Kate has led a number of improvement programmes. This involves working with nurses and healthcare teams to develop and share innovative ways of improving practice; thereby enabling them to provide care that is person-centred, high quality and evidence-based. Kate is also the Managing Editor of the new International Practice Development Journal, a collaborative initiative between FoNS and the International Practice Development Collaborative.

Kate actively represents FoNS on a range of national and international initiatives and boards and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer with Canterbury Christ Church University, England. 

She is currently studying part-time for a PhD at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, which has evolved out of an increasing interest in the well-being of staff and how this impacts on their ability to be creative and innovative and to deliver person-centred care.

Kate Sanders

Jo Odell MA (Distinction), BSc (Hons), RGN
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Jo qualified in 1985 with a degree in Nursing from the University of the Southbank, London. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings since then, her main clinical experience being in Accident and Emergency, Community Hospitals and Care of Older People. Her first opportunity to become involved with practice development was in 2001 when she took part in the Gerontological Nurse Development Programme, which was facilitated by the RCN. She then went on to study for a master degree in practice development at the University of Bournemouth. Since then Jo has used the tools and techniques she was introduced to, to structure and change practice with the main emphasis on introducing opportunities for reflection such as clinical supervision and action learning, working with nurses in older persons care and exploring creative approaches to understand and change practice. Jo has also had a variety of roles in either a learning and development, quality or corporate team leading on practice development initiatives.


Jo was appointed as a Practice Development Facilitator at FoNS in September 2011 and is the lead facilitator for the Patients First Programme, where her main role is to facilitate and provide workplace support for the teams involved, with their practice development initiatives.


Jo Odell

Associate Facilitator

Fiona Cook RGN, RNMD, RNT, Dip Life Sciences, BSc Nursing, MSc Nursing, PGCE, Diploma in TA Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Fiona is an acknowledged practice development leader across Scotland and UK. She has extensive leadership experience in the NHS, in a career spanning over 35 years, as both clinical practitioner, nurse teacher and project manager.


She is an experienced, flexible, highly motivated and enthusiastic health care professional with excellent leadership, managerial, organisational, and educational skills who holds a firm commitment to both practice and professional development. She is a skilled communicator and facilitator, comfortable working at all levels of organisations to enable, encourage, inspire and empower individuals to maximise their full potential.


A qualified nurse teacher and an experienced psychotherapist using Transactional Analysis, Fiona has a unique combination of skills to offer. This blend of knowledge and experience is invaluable in her work with clients as a facilitator of culture change, personal change, transformation and enhanced autonomy.


She is an expert facilitator of both technical and transformational practice development processes. She also has experience of teaching undergraduate and post graduate academic programmes, regularly working freelance for universities as lecturer and external examiner. She is also an accomplished facilitator of action and active learning, processes whereby individuals can learn creatively together in a reflective group in order to transform personally and professionally. She routinely uses these processes of learning to enable and empower individuals to make significant changes to their lives and professional practice. 


Having completed a Certificate in Coaching, she is also a capable and competent life and work coach/ mentor in one to one coaching/supervisory relationships which have helped stretch clients beyond personal horizons to harness their potential within in six sessions. She offers this service face to face or by telephone, whichever is most convenient for clients.


Recently retired from the NHS, Fiona has worked in a range of Practice Development roles within the NHS, culminating in a national post as Improvement Advisor for Releasing Time to Care at Healthcare Improvement Scotland. She now facilitates on a number of programmes which include: My Home Life, QNIS Fellowship, NHS Lothian Daring to be Great, designed and delivered bespoke leadership programmes within NHS Fife and NHS Dumfries and Galloway and is an Associate Consultant for the RCN. 


Outside of her professional life, Fiona lives in Edinburgh. She enjoys traveling, cooking, socialising with friends and being outdoors, weather permitting.

Fiona Cook

Communications and Administration Officer

Debbie Warren BA (Hons), M. Soc. Sci, Dip TEFLA
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Debbie joined FoNS in November 2012 after returning from a couple of years living and working in Sydney. Previously, she has lectured in academic skills, and taught English as a foreign language both in the UK and abroad. She has also worked as an administrator/project worker for a small qualification awarding body. In her spare time she is an active participant and volunteer in local school and community activities. 

Debbie Warren

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