Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Alan Glasper

Alan Glasper retires after over 30 years as a Nursing Academic

Alan began his nursing career in 1968 at the tender age of 16 when he commenced his Orthopaedic Nursing Certificate where much of his time was spent at The Sunderland Orthopaedic and Accident Hospital caring for children with orthopaedic conditions. Alan continued on to the Northallerton Friarage Hospital to complete his RGN where he met his future wife, and again spent several allocations on children's wards.

In 1974, after working as a staff nurse on an orthopedic ward, Alan applied for a studentship on the very first combined two year full-time RSCN and London University Diploma in Nursing Course. He was one of only four students. The RSCN/DN (Lond) course taught Alan all about caring for sick children and their families and he began thinking how practice could be changed.

In 1977, Alan was appointed as Great Ormond Street’s first Charge Nurse and immediately began to challenge the role of the environment of care by employing a mural artist to paint the 50 shades of grey walls!

In April 1978 Alan became an unqualified Tutor to the Charles West School of Nursing GOS and attended Garnett College London to complete his Nurse Teacher qualification. He was promoted to senior tutor in 1980 and met Princess Michael of Kent.

In 1980 I commenced a 4 year Honours degree in Social Science, and this opened my eyes to the psychological aspects of care.

After working as the Assistant Director of Nurse Education Alan moved to the University of Southampton as one of the first cohorts of lecturers in the newly inaugurated Nursing Studies within the Faculty of Medicine. He was the UK’s first University lecturer in Paediatric Nursing (clinical academic) and began working with the RCN whilst a Clinical Academic in this role to promote children's nursing in Wessex.

Some of Alan’s early research changed the type of uniform children's nurses wore. And in 1989, after receiving a £10,000 grant, he was able to introduce the Pre-admission programme within the Southampton Children's Unit.

In 1997 Alan was appointed Head of Nursing Studies, introducing the new three- year BN honours degree, the part-time Top Up degree for Registered Nurses, and later the new adult, child and midwifery degrees.

It took him five years part-time, but Alan finally received a PhD. This research changed clinical practice in allowing parents into the anaesthetic room to stay with their children for the duration of the induction.

Alan became the Foundation Professor of Nursing Studies in April 1991. At that time there were only nine Professorial Heads of University Nursing Studies Departments, but this small group, who met annually, eventually became The Council of Deans of Health.

After the fall of Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu, Alan was asked by the RCN to lead a series of charitable missions to help the plight of HIV infected children in the country in the aftermath of the revolution. Over a five year period in the early 1990’s Alan led many such missions. One of his crowning moments was persuading Saints to donate their football shirts to sick children in Bucharest.

Alan has been invited to give conference addresses all over the world, including Hong Kong, Australia, Oman, Spain, Italy, Canada, Belgium and Ireland.

In 1995 he helped develop the Children’s Nursing Development Unit in Southampton, and in circa 2000, led the development of the Foundation Degree in Health Studies, receiving a competitive bid for £350,000. In this year he also attended the opening of the University’s Nightingale Building.

Alan has been involved in numerous research projects, many of which followed in the wake of his Florence Nightingale Scholarship Award in 1991 to investigate nurse telephone triage in Toronto. This research saw him meet Baroness von Degenberg (Nursing officer at the DOH) in Canada in January 1993, and eventually led to the formation of NHS Direct.

Along with scholarly activities too long to list, Alan was also appointed as a Trustee and Member of the Board of the Children’s Trust Tadworth, a role he spent nine years in, appointed Trustee and Member of the Board of the Help for Health Trust, and appointed educational representative of the UK Association of Chief Children's Nurses.

He has also been invited to join the editorial boards of many nursing journals including The Journal of Advanced Nursing. Numerous students have benefited from his teaching and supervision.

Alan is currently working with the CQC as a Specialist Advisor, editing WPHS, working with the NMC as a Senior Reviewer, and with the ACCN to promote children's nursing.

In his ‘retirement’ Alan is looking forward to more holidays and more walks!

Privacy Settings