Dr Nicola Clibbens


Nicola Clibbens is a Lecturer in Mental Health in the academic unit of Adult, Child and Mental Health Nursing in the School of Healthcare. She is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse, general nurse, practice educator and nursing lecturer. Nicola holds a Diploma in Social Sciences from Sheffield Hallam University and a Master of Arts in Education and PhD from the University of Sheffield which used mixed methods to explore therapeutic nursing care on acute mental health wards.

Nicola's clinical expertise is in acute mental health care and she has also worked in leadership and practice development roles in the NHS. Before taking up her role at the University of Leeds, Nicola supported Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS FT to develop research capacity in partnership with the South Yorkshire CLAHRC; work which resulted in the Grounded Research @RDaSH team being shortlisted for an NIHR sponsored Health Service Journal 'Research Impact' award.

She currently supports placement learning in acute and crisis mental health services within Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust and holds an honorary research contract with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust.

Nicola is an experienced university lecturer, her teaching focuses on mental health nursing theory and skills as well as physical caring skills for mental health nurses. She has developed curriculum innovations to deliver group clinical supervision to student nurses and a poetry project in partnership with people with experience of mental health problems to bring real experiences into the classroom. She is currently developing high fidelity mental health focused clinical simulations for nursing students in partnership with Health Education England and NHS partners across Yorkshire and Humber.

Nicola's research focuses on acute and crisis mental health care, transitions in care and therapeutic mental health care. She has expertise in evidence synthesis methods, qualitative methods, consensus methods, patient and public consultation (PPI) and mixed method synthesis. Nicola has recently been developing her expertise in realist methodologies.

Nicola supervises Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students.


  • Undergraduate Module Leader

Research interests

Nicola's research is focused on acute and crisis mental health care, transitions in care and therapeutic mental health care. She has led a project funded by The Burdett Trust for Nursing in partnership with Rotherham, Doncater and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust exploring early discharge in acute mental health. She is currently carrying out a literature review and a descriptive phenomenological study of informal caregivers' experiences of supporting a person with serious mental health problems through service transitions in acute mental health care (including referral, admission, transfer and discharge). Nicola has expertise in evidence synthesis, qualitative research methods, mixed methods synthesis and stakeholder consultation in research and realist methodology.


  • PhD University of Sheffield (2011)
  • MA (Ed) University of Sheffield (1999)
  • Diploma Social Studies Sheffield Hallam Uni (1995)
  • RN (Mental Health) (1989)
  • RN General (second level) (1984)

Professional memberships

  • Registrant- Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Member- Royal College of Nursing
  • Member- Phi Mu, all England Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society
  • Voting member- Mental Health Nursing Academics UK

Student education

Nicola is an experienced university lecturer and has taught a wide range of topics related to healthcare, research and nursing. The main focus of Nicola's teaching is mental health, she has partciular expertise in topics such as common mental health problems, caring for people with serious mental health problems who are acutely unwell or experiencing a crisis and the physical care of people with mental health problems. She has lots of experience in teaching student nurses clinical and therapeutic skills including; medicines management, wound care, vital signs, nutritional care, solution focused brief therapy, interpersonal communication skills and behaviour change interventions.

Nicola has taught students from a range of health care professions at undergraduate, postgraduate, post basic (CPD) and doctoral levels.

Nicola has led degree programmes, modules and developed curricula, as well as leading innovation projects in edcuation. She has experience of working with people who have experience of mental health problems to design and deliver education.

Research groups and institutes

  • Mental health (Healthcare)

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://production2.leeds.ac.uk/phd">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>