My published work

Wilson, A. M. E. (2016) ‘Interview-diary methods in a hermeneutic phenomenological study: the lived experiences of nurse mentors’, Sage Research Methods Cases

Wilson, A. (2015) ‘An Exploration of Tutor Feedback on Essays and the Development of a Feedback Guide’, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning [Online], Special Issue, Best of EDEN RW8. Available at

Feedback on student essays is a central aspect of learning in higher education, and feedback quality is important. An evaluation of existing tutor and student feedback was carried out to determine the relationship between tutor feedback summaries and students’ notes to their tutors, regarding their efforts in response to the feedback. An analytic framework was developed in conjunction with content analysis of these naturally occurring data. Categorising and mapping the categories of feedback longitudinally revealed diverse feedback patterns and trends of diminishing future-oriented feedback during the course. Personal qualitative engagement with the data also revealed examples of unclear feedback. Subsequently, a guide was developed in order to unpack the language surrounding academic writing skills. The guide was piloted with ten volunteer tutors. The study concludes that unpacking the academic language that is frequently applied to writing skills, will support conversations between tutors and students as well as amongst academics.

Wilson, A. (2015) ‘New roles and challenges within the healthcare workforce: a Heideggerian perspective’, Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol 29, no. 1, pp. 2-9.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore insights based on the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger, on the dynamic relationships between human experience and work roles.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the findings of a hermeneutic phenomenological study of nurse mentors, the topics of new roles and role challenges are explored, along with a consideration of their relevance to wider issues of workforce redesign. Heidegger’s philosophy of Dasein, in particular his concepts of inauthentic and authentic self, provided an interpretational lens. This paper applies these philosophical concepts to challenges associated with a changing workforce.

Findings – Concepts elaborating human existence as proposed by Heidegger may offer analytic structures for understanding shifts in the lived experience of a changing workplace. In particular, the concepts could help managers to explore the implications of introducing novel work roles or extending roles. The understanding gained can also extend to situations where work practices may need to be challenged.
Originality/value – As work roles and skill mix undergo rapid shifts, this paper offers an original way of understanding the experience of work roles.

Wilson, A. (2015) ‘A guide to phenomenological research’, Nursing Standard, vol 29, no. 34, pp. 38-43.

Phenomenological research is a method with strong philosophical origins, which can sometimes be challenging for novice investigators. However, developing an appreciation of these philosophical origins can enhance and strengthen the research design. A fundamental challenge is to understand the range of philosophical and empirical approaches to situate one’s own research. Such phenomenological approaches are often characterised and differentiated by the degree to which it is accepted that an investigator can achieve objective descriptions of, or interpret, lived experience. This article explains these issues, relating the philosophy to the research practicalities.

Wilson, A. (2015) ‘A&E crisis: monitoring conditions through telehealth could transform NHS care’, The Conversation [Online], 13 January. Available at

Wilson, A. M. E. (2014) ‘Application of Heideggerian phenomenology to mentorship of nursing students’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol 70, no. 12, pp. 2910-2919.

Aim To discuss interpretations of the lived experience of mentoring based on Heidegger’s concept of dasein. The focus is on one main theme identified in an in-depth study of the lived experience of nurses mentoring students in their workplace: a world of hope for the nursing profession. Background This article focuses on dasein’s ‘existence’, which is temporally aligned with having a future. Data relating to this theme are presented and interpreted with respect to the temporal aspect of dasein pertaining to ‘having a future’ and the Heideggerian existentials of existence and verstehen (understanding). Design The research design was based on hermeneutic phenomenology, exploring the mentors’ ‘being’. Methods Data were gathered during 2008 through hermeneutic interviews, event diaries and participant drawings. Analysis occurred through sustained hermeneutic engagement with the data and application of an interpretive lens provided by Heidegger’s care structure. Results Three sub-themes are identified: ‘being a gatekeeper’, ‘sustaining a professional will’, and ‘passing on the special things’. Conclusions Mentors can and need to engage on a deep personal level with their students if they are to intervene appropriately as gatekeepers to the profession.

Wilson, A. (2014) ‘Being a practitioner: an application of Heidegger’s phenomenology’, Nurse Researcher, vol 21, no. 6, pp. 28-33.

Aim To explain how Heidegger’s phenomenology can be applied to investigations of practitioners’ experiences and enhance research of roles. Background The application of phenomenology in nursing research has been subject to strong criticism. A recent phenomenological investigation of nurses’ experiences of mentoring students has shown the value of applying Heidegger’s ideas to understand practitioners’ experiences. Data sources The author’s experience of conducting a hermeneutic phenomenological study and influential literature. Review methods An inquiry into the author’s application of Heidegger’s philosophy to an empirical study. Discussion Heidegger’s phenomenology was based on his concept of ‘dasein’, denoting existence as ‘being in the world’. These ideas of existence are discussed in relation to the experiences of practitioners. A nurse or other practitioner’s experiences of practice are explained according to three modes of being: absorbed in practice, noticing practice and contemplating practice. The paper shows how this layered understanding of a person’s lifeworld can be incorporated into the design of empirical research. Conclusion Heideggerian phenomenology provides a defendable framework in which to examine experience of practice. Implications for practice/research Given the expanding diversity of nursing roles, this methodology offers a route for improving our understanding of the implications for the nurses occupying particular roles.

Wilson, A. M. E. (2014) ‘Mentoring student nurses and the educational use of self: A hermeneutic phenomenological study’, Nurse Education Today, vol 34, no. 3, pp. 285-486.

In the United Kingdom, pre-registration nurse education relies on workplace mentors to support and assess practice learning. Despite research to clarify expectations and develop support structures, mentors nevertheless report being overwhelmed by the responsibility of mentoring alongside their clinical work. Understanding of their lived experience appears limited. The aim of the study was to achieve a deeper understanding of the lived experience of mentoring, searching for insights into how mentors can be better prepared and supported. The mentor lifeworld was explored utilizing a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology drawing on Heidegger. Twelve mentors, who worked in a range of clinical settings in England were recruited via purposive and snowball sampling. Participants described their experiences of mentoring through in-depth interviews and event diaries which included ‘rich pictures’. Analysis involved the application of four lifeworld existentials proposed by van Manen — temporality, spatiality, corporeality and relationality. The essence of being a mentor was ‘the educational use of self’. Temporality featured in the past self and moving with daily/work rhythms. Spatiality evoked issues of proximity and accountability and the inner and outer spaces of patients’ bodies. Mentor corporeality revealed using the body for teaching, and mentors revealed their relationality in providing a ‘good educational experience’ and sustaining their ‘educational selves’. ‘The educational use of self’ offers insight into the lived experience of mentors, and exposes the potentially hidden elements of mentoring experience, which can inform mentor preparation and support.>/span>

Thompson, J., Kenward, L. and Wilson, A. (2012) ‘The mentor as assessor’ in: Kilgallon, K. and Thompson, J. (eds.) Mentoring in Nursing and Healthcare: A practical approach. Chichester: Wiley.

Wilson, A. and Patent, V. (2011) ‘Trusted to care: Role of trust in mentoring’ in: Searle, R. H. and Skinner, D. (eds.) Trust and human resource management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

In this chapter we examine trust in mentoring relationships with specific  attention  to  a  sample  of  nurses  who  were  interviewed  during  a period  in  which  they  mentored  pre- registration  nursing  students.  Trust emerged  spontaneously  in  many  of  the  interviews,  suggesting  that  it  is a salient feature of the mentoring context. In the chapter we explore the immersion of mentors within  a complex network of  overlapping  dyadic relationships that manifest at different stages of their mentoring activity.

Wilson, A. (2010). Are the demands of nurse mentoring underestimated? [Online]. Nursing Available:

Wilson, A. (2009) ‘BOOK REVIEW’, Teaching in Higher Education, vol 14, no. 1, pp. 113-116.

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