Dr Joanna Smith

Dr Joanna Smith


I am an Associate Professor of Child Nursing and passionate about ensuring care is evidence-based and delivered in a way that fosters effective collaboration and empowerment of the child, young person and family.

I have worked in higher education for over 18 years’ including lecturer/ senior lecturer roles at the Universities of York, Leeds, Salford and Huddersfield. I was awarded Senior Fellow by the Higher Education Academy in 2014, recognising my extensive teaching and learning experiences at both undergraduate and postgraduate. I draw on over 15 years’ clinical experience, qualifying as a Registered General Nurse in 1986 and Registered Children’s Nurse in 1987, to inform my teaching and research.

I am the Academic Lead for Public Engagement and Involvement in the School of Healthcare.

I have a sustained record of publications with over 70 publications including 2 authored books, 10 book chapters, and over 40 national/international conference presentations, including 4 presentations as an invited speaker and 2 symposiums. I am the co-chair of the International Network of Child and Family Centred Care and a member of the British Academy of Childhood Disability: Strategic Research Group.


  • Academic Lead for Public Engagement and Involvement, School of Healthcare

Research interests

My main research interests relate to the way in which health professionals work with and involve children, young people and their families in care. My PhD explored parents’ management of their child’s hydrocephalous and their contribution to the diagnosis of shunt malfunction in acute hospital admissions. Although I have used a range of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, I am particularly skilled in the application of thematic analysis and framework approach.

I have successfully supervised several PhD students whose topics in my research focus, for example, parent-child shared-decision making in asthma, and involving parents in their child’s pain care. I would welcome contact from potential PhD students interesting in developing interventions to support family involvement in care.


  • PhD School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, 2011
  • Post Graduate Certificate Research School of Medicine, University of Leeds, 2005
  • MSc (Hons) Health Professional Education University of Huddersfield, 1999
  • BSc (Hons) Biosciences and Health (2.1) Metropolitan University of Leeds,1996
  • Registered Nurse Teacher, 1998

Professional memberships

  • International Family Nursing Association
  • International Network of Child and Family Centred Care
  • British Academy of Childhood Disability: Strategic Research Group
  • Royal College of Nursing

Student education

My teaching expertise focuses on the way health professionals engage with and share care decisions with children and families, in the context of childhood long-term conditions. My teaching philosophy is based on developing nursing students to think critically about care delivery, and the evidence underpinning care.

Research groups and institutes

  • Maternal, child and family health

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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>