Mrs Sarah Thirtle

RGN Adult. SPQ DN. BSc Hons. MA Education. PGCE. DTTLS. DPSN. HEA Fellow

Senior Lecturer


Sarah is a Registered Adult nurse and holds the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing along with the V100 Community Nurse Prescribing Qualification. Sarah gained extensive clinical experience working in the acute healthcare sector for many years, primarily in Medicine, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Stroke rehabilitation before undertaking the SPQ DN course in 1995. After successful completion of the SPQ DN programme, Sarah worked in the community as a District Nurse managing complex caseloads and also contributed to staff learning and development by supporting student nurses who came out into community practice. Sarah’s key area of interest whilst in clinical practice was promoting sustainable and active communities to enhance social capital for the local population. Sarah has chaired and been an active member of a number of local community groups and is currently on the committee of two community initiatives that support local people who have the potential to become socially isolated, ensuring that they continue to be connected to the wider society.

Following a move into education in 2011, Sarah worked at Buckinghamshire College Group supporting students in their community placement areas and leading on the Health and Social Care, and Access to Nursing Programmes. It is here that Sarah’s love of education was developed further and in 2015 Sarah became an Advanced Practitioner in Education, supporting new and existing teachers to develop pedagogical strategies to enhance innovative teaching and learning practice.

Sarah’s primary research was published in 2014 which explored the relationship between active feedback strategies and metacognitive development. Sarah has presented at a number of conferences, speaking about metacognition. At the AOC conference, Birmingham (2015) Sarah presented the topic “Changing students perceptions of English and Maths through Dweck’s Growth mind set” and as part of the Expansive Education Project at Winchester University, Sarah presented a project that she developed to use in the classroom that explored students who have maths anxiety asking; “If number talks are introduced into lessons will students’ meta-cognitive development increase?”

During this time Sarah also taught on the Diploma to teach in the lifelong learning sector and supported teachers undertaking their teacher training during this time.

Sarah joined Bucks New University in January 2017 as a Senior Lecturer and works as part of the Community Health Team within the School of Health Care and Social Work.  Sarah is Programme Lead for the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing and the MA in Public Health. Sarah also teaches on other community nursing programmes. Sarah is passionate about educational pedagogy and strives to develop students’ metacognitive development during their time at university. Sarah continues to have good links with clinical practice and is part of the wider network of district nurse educators through membership of the Association of District Nurse Educators group. Sarah took the lead on the development and delivery of the Community Education Conferences held at Buckinghamshire New University which supported keynote speakers, seminars and workshops to enhance academic and clinical practice within the community nursing sector.

Sarah’s primary research on the impact of identity on adult learners undertaking the SPQ DN programme is currently being reviewed for publication.