Ruth registered with the NMC as an adult nurse in 1992, lecturer in 2007 and non-medical prescriber in 2010. She completed a Master of Philosophy in Law and Ethics in Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 2000. She completed her PhD in 2018 which was a mixed methods study that developed and tested a theoretical model to predict medicines adherence in people with intellectual disabilities and diabetes.
Her clinical background is critical care, coronary care and acute medicine and has worked in the UK and USA. Whilst working as a senior nurse in Scotland she developed, implemented and evaluated an early warning scoring system to assist with recognition of the acutely ill patient. This led to the development of NEWS and national roll out of the instrument. During this time she also led the development of advanced clinical skills aiming to reduce waiting times in unscheduled care.
Since entering academia first on a part time basis alongside a clinical role, and full time since 2015, she has developed expertise and national recognition leading non-medical prescribing programmes and, more recently, advanced practice, pharmacology and medicines optimisation.
She has led advanced practice and prescribing programmes to successful reapproval receiving commendations for her links with with professional practice and clinically focussed assessment . During 2019/20 Nursing and Midwifery Council reapproval events she was appointed as external expert panelist at events in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
She is currently Head of the Nursing Subject group in the School of Health and Social Care. As one of the largest pre-registration nursing programmes in the UK and a large portfolio of international and post graduate programmes this is a highly challenging and rewarding role. Prior to this she Head of Learning and Teaching in the School of Health and Social Care, chair of the Scottish Non-medical Prescribing Network and the university representative on the Scottish Non-medical Prescribing strategic leads group. In 2018 she was invited to be subject matter expert during the development of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards on pre-registration nursing and prescribing. In 2019 she was appointed as accountable officer for pharmacology and prescribing preparedness at the future nurse board hosted by NHS Education for Scotland.
Her international work includes Saltire scholarships and Erasmus Mundus programme leadership, both of which provide nursing students and postgraduate students, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to travel, gain social, cultural and academic experience outwith their own country.
She has completed a number of externally funded research projects. One evaluated the national multi-method assessment in non-medical prescribing and informed the future delivery of the programme. Another evaluated the impact of inter professional education (medical students, pharmacy and non-medical prescribing students) on self-efficacy and readiness for inter-professional learning . She has received funding for innovative approaches to learning including development of an interactive Virtual Reality simulation on recognition of the deteriorating patient, which has been adapted for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. These externally funded grants, research and publications have had a positive impact on education and student support in practice locally, nationally and internationally.
Building on her expertise in pharmacology, adherence and prescribing she is working on a project in collaboration with Scottish Government and University of Lyon to develop, test and implement a real time adherence monitoring tool for community practice. She is a member of the PARADIGMS policy and Research Group at Scottish Goverment and is supervising 2 PhD students who are investigating the impact of a medicines data visualisation tool on medicines adherence in people living with polypharmacy. She currently also supervising post graduate research students in Electronic Prescribing, pre-registration prescribing readiness and adherence research.