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University of Exeter Medical School

 Ann Gallagher

Ann Gallagher

Head of Nursing & Professor of Care Education, Ethics and Research

 07758 288564

 South Cloisters 301E


South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Ann has extensive experience as a nurse, educator, researcher and editor. She trained as a general nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast during ‘The Troubles’ and then gained a post-registration qualification in mental health nursing at West Park Hospital, Epsom, Surrey. Ann completed a BA (Hons) degree in philosophy and health studies, an MA in applied ethics and a PhD in professional ethics. She worked as an educator and researcher at the Open University leading the mental health component of an award-winning open-learning programme which enabled care assistants to become registered nurses. Ann was a researcher at Kingston University and St George’s Hospital Medical School. Prior to coming to the University of Exeter in November 2020, she was Professor of Ethics and Care at the University of Surrey. Ann is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Nursing Ethics.

As Head of the Academy of Nursing, Ann leads the innovative MSc Nursing programme which enables students to exit with registration as adult nurses or with dual registration as adult and mental health nurses. The programme is designed to develop students’ leadership capabilities so they are fit to provide and lead excellence in health and social care. Ann is also building research and scholarship capability which engages with the educational ‘pillars’ of mental health, evidence, global health, patient and public involvement, leadership and fundamentals of care.



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Research interests

The focus of Ann’s research activity has been the development and sustainability of excellence in care.  She has researched topic areas such as: dignity in residential care; compassion in the NHS; professionalism in paramedic practice; learning from professional regulation; and the impact of ethics education in social care. She is committed to developing educational and research programmes that contribute to the flourishing of individual, families and communities.

Ann has published widely and her most recent book is Slow Ethics and the Art of Care (2020) (see

Research projects

  • Generation Z’s Views of Care and Care Careers

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External Engagement and Impact


  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
  • Fellowship of Royal College of Nursing, UK
  • Fulbright Scholar in Residence, National Bioethics Center for Healthcare and Research, Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA
  • Team Teaching Award for Innovative Practice-Based Nurse Education Programme, The Open University, Milton Keynes

Committee/panel activities

  • Ann is a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working group on Ageing.

Editorial responsibilities

Ann is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Nursing Ethics ((ranked 5/121 in nursing and 6/55 in ethics and first quartile in both fields)

Media Coverage

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Ann led the development of a FutureLearn Massive Open Online Course on the theme of ‘Ethical Decision-Making in Care’ (see



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