Dame Jill qualified as a registered nurse at University College Hospital, London and worked in a range of acute clinical settings and as a practice nurse.
She gained a degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics and subsequently completed her doctorate, which focussed on an analysis of communication between patients and nurses on surgical wards.
Jill began her academic career as a clinical lecturer at Chelsea College London, teaching communication skills, health promotion and research methods whilst supporting undergraduate students in their practice placements. She headed up the first research-based MSc programme for nursing in the UK and continued to develop her research profile, building up a research team and publishing widely.
Over the years, Jill has held a number of academic leadership posts in the UK, acting as Director of the Nightingale Institute, Kings College London and, more recently, Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton. In Southampton, she spearheaded a major inter-professional learning initiative for students across nine health care disciplines and developed a new clinical academic career pathway for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
Jill has also undertaken key national professional policy and advisory roles, including being Chair of the UK Council of Deans for Health, Chair of the NIHR clinical academic awards panel and a member of the last two Research Excellence Framework Panels for Nursing and Allied Health Professions. She holds several honorary professorial positions in nursing faculties around the world Jill is now Emeritus Professor at Southampton and is lead advisor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for their major review of education standards for future registered nurses. She continues to contribute to national and international policy agendas linked to the development of clinical academic and research careers in nursing and building leadership capacity in higher education and health for under- represented groups. She is a member of ‘Women on Boards’ and is actively engaged in coaching and mentoring nurses aspiring to executive or strategic leadership roles.
Jill is married to William, has two sons and five grandchildren and is a keen sailor.