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 and 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.

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 Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

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

Nicola's research focuses on acute and crisis mental health care, transitions in care, the experiences of caregivers and family members and therapeutic mental health care. She has expertise in evidence synthesis, qualitative methods, consensus methods, patient and public consultation (PPI), mixed method research and realist methods.

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, caregiver and family experiences 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 has completed a pump priming study focused on 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 is currently leading an NIHR funded realist evidence synthesis (MH-Crest) to understand what works for whom and in what circumstances in community mental health crisis services. She is also working on a project to identify best practice in recruiting and involving caregivers in mental health to research.

Nicola has expertise in evidence synthesis, qualitative research methods, mixed methods research, stakeholder consultation and realist methodology.

Nicola is currently supervising three PhD students and welcomes enquiries from candidates interested in studying towards a PhD.


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