Professor Wilfred Mcsherry


School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

I graduate from the University of Hull in 1992 with a Bachelor Science (Hons) Nursing Sciences. After graduating I worked for several years within clinical practice in a range of nursing specialities, including medicine, gastroenterology, palliative care and care of the older person. In 1996 I moved into Higher Education taking up post as a Lecturer in Adult Nursing at Dumfries Campus part of Bell College Hamilton. I have held a number of lecturing posts prior to being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001. While working at the University of Hull, along with colleagues we set up the Centre for Spirituality Studies which I directed until talking up this position in August 2008. My career in nursing continues to involve a combination of practice, education and research.

Professional memberships and activities

Member of the Royal College of Nursing
Member of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
Vice President of The British Association for the Study of Spirituality
Member of The Centre for Spirituality Studies, The University of Hull

I am currently on the editorial Board of three academic journal and peer review for a number of nursing and other health journals.

Academic qualifications

PhD, MPhil, BSc (Hons) PGCRM, PGCE (FE,) RGN, NT, FHA


I have over 20 years experience working as a nurse within the National Health Service and teaching on programmes of nursing and allied health professions within the Higher Education Sector. I have developed my skills in service evaluation, and service improvement techniques within a range of sectors. I have a keen interest in the measurement of spirituality and dignity in care having designed tools to aid researchers and practitioners to evaluate these concepts. I am also involved in the development of Dementia Services across Shropshire and presently working with colleagues to develop a Dementia Care Pathway for use in an Acute Trust. A further area of interest is in the core concepts/values of nursing and why these seem to have been eroded and devalued within contemporary nursing.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the areas of dignity in care, spirituality and spiritual care, ageing and dementia. I have an international profile with regards to research in several of these areas.
I have always tried to ensure that the research that I conduct has a practical relevance and application to nursing and health care practice. I have experience of using both quantitative (survey and questionnaire design) and qualitative research methods, (Grounded Theory).

Recent Funding:
West Midlands Strategic Health Authority Tender £5,493.50 awarded to establish: The benefits of registered nurses being educated to degree level: a systematic review Awarded to Professor Wilf McSherry, Daniel Masterson and Dr Steve Suckling April 2011

Telford and Wrekin Primary Care Trust £10,000 to undertake: Evaluation of dementia education provided within Shropshire to assess whether these will enable competency framework for dementia for NHS Telford and Wrekin. Awarded to Professor Wilf McSherry and Dr Steve Suckling April 2011

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) £2981 to: Developing a partnership with Wellington Cottage Care Principle investigator Dr. Wilf McSherry, co-investigators - Dr Steve Suckling. July 2010

NHS End of life Care Programme £49,998 awarded to Professor Margaret Holloway, Professor Wilf McSherry and Professor John Swinton to undertake: A literature review of spirituality in end of life, February 2010: Report Available from:

Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and Staffordshire University, Faculty of Health, Centre for Practice and Service Improvement to ensure: the implementation and sustainability of the Productive Ward Programme (PWP) through promoting and transferring quantitative and qualitative methodologies and evaluation techniques. Total budget for KTP £107,300. Technology Strategy Board Contribution and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Royal College of Nursing £14,680 to undertake: On Line Survey of Spirituality. Awarded to Professor Wilf McSherry, December, 2009. Royal College of Nursing: £4,905 to undertake qualitative analysis of the online data and write final report. Awarded to Professor Wilf McSherry


I teach on the subjects of dignity, spirituality across a range of different undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. I also teach on these concepts to health professionals within the Trust. In addition, I am supervising a number of people undertaking Masters Degrees, and PhD’s.



McSherry, W., Jamieson, S. (2011) An online survey of nurses perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care Journal of Clinical Nursing 20 (7-8) doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03547.x

Bradley E, McSherry W, McSherry R (2010) Disseminating research: how joint NHS and university posts can support this process. Nursing Times, 106 (44), 20 – 22.

McSherry W (2010) Dignity in care: meanings, myths and the reality of making it work in practice. Nursing Times, 106 (40), 20-23.

Lambert C, Jomeen J, McSherry W (2009) Reflexivity: A Review of the literature in the context of midwifery research. British Journal of Midwifery, 18(5), 321-326.

Foster, S., Gordon, P., McSherry, W. (2009) Rolling out Productive Ward foundation modules across a hospital trust. Nursing Times. 105 (30) p28-30

McSherry, W., Gretton, M., Draper, P., Watson, R. (2008) The ethical basis of teaching spirituality and spiritual care: A survey of student nurses perceptions. Nurse Education Today. 28 (8) p1002-1008


McSherry, W., Ross, L. (eds) (2010) Spiritual Assessment in Health Care Practice. M&K Publishing, Keswick

McSherry, W. (2007) The Meaning of Spirituality and Spiritual Care within Nursing and Health Care Practice. Quay Books: Wiltshire

McSherry, W. (2006) Making Sense of Spirituality in Nursing and Health Care Practice an Interactive Approach (2nd Edition). Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London

Chapters in Books

McSherry, W., Coleman, H (2011) Dignity and older people In Dignity in Healthcare a practical approach for nurses and midwives Matiti, M, R and Baillie L (Eds) (2011) Radcliffe Publishing, Milton Keynes Chapter 9,109 - 125

Eagger, S. McSherry, W. (2011) Assessing a person’s spiritual needs in a healthcare setting In Gilbert, P. (Ed) (2011) Spirituality and Mental Health: A handbook for service users, carers and staff wishing to bring a spiritual dimension to mental health services Pavilion, Brighton Chapter 10

McSherry, W., Bennion J (2011) Hospital Care. In: Hindle A & Coates A (Eds) (2011) Nursing Care of Older People. Oxford University Press. Oxford: Chapter 9 109 - 120

McSherry, W. (2010) Spiritual Assessment: definition, categorisation and features In
McSherry, W., Ross, L. (Eds) (2010) Spiritual Assessment in Health Care Practice. M&K Publishing, Keswick Chapter 4, 57-78.

Ross, L., McSherry, W. (2010) Considerations for the future of Spiritual Assessment features In McSherry, W., Ross, L. (Eds) (2010) Spiritual Assessment in Health Care Practice. M&K Publishing, Keswick, Chapter 9, 161-171.

McSherry, W., Jolley, S. (2009) Meeting the Spiritual Needs of Children and Families in Price, J. and McNeilly, P. (Eds) Palliative Care for Children and Families – An Interdisciplinary Approach. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke ISBN-13: 978-0230200029

Invited Presentations

Spirituality and Health Care Conference: Keynote lecture: The Royal College of Nursing: Survey on Spirituality. 29 March 2011 London

Spirituality and Dignity in End of Life Care. Keynote lecture at Spiritual Care at End of Life Conference, Princess Alice Hospice, Surrey, 24 January 2011.

Spirituality and its implication for care in all settings. Workshop presentation at 4th National Healthcare Assistant Conference: Committing to your development, Regent’s College, London, 4 November 2010. London

McSherry R & McSherry W. Keynote presentation Excellence in Practice: Advancing the dignity in care agenda within orthopaedic and trauma nursing given at 1st International Conference of the International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nursing ‘Fording the streams of international orthopaedic and trauma care’, 16-17 September 2010, Crowne Plaza, Northwood Park, Dublin, Ireland.

Findings from the RCN Online Spirituality Survey. Fringe Event at the Royal College of Nursing Congress, Bournemouth, 28 April 2010.

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

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Top 15 for Social Inclusion

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Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020