Lorna O'Reilly

Associate Professor

Deputy Head of School for Advanced Practice and LBR

Course Leader, MSc Advanced Practice

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:School of Nursing and Midwifery

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Nursing and midwifery

Research Supervision:Yes

Lorna O'Reilly is an Associate Professor, Deputy Head of School for Advanced Practice and LBR, and Course Leader for our MSc Advanced Practice. She has experience in critical care/acute care practice and post-registration education.



Since qualifying as a staff nurse, Lorna has worked in a number of acute/critical care units. These ranged from general to cardio-thoracic specialities. Her realisation that nurses can lead change and improve patient outcomes, motivated her to complete her first degree in 2001.

Lorna's dissertation was drawn by her experience as a Clinical Support Sister in a large critical care unit. She undertook a qualitative, phenomenological study to explore the needs of newly qualified nurses in critical care.

Lorna left practice in 2001 to develop her career as a nurse academic. She led on many critical care modules and managed the pre-registration adult nursing programme.

Her Masters dissertation was drawn from her experience teaching on critical care courses. She applied the qualitative principles of ethnography, to explore the relationship of the biological sciences and clinical decision making in critical care nurses.

Lorna's academic professional roles have ranged from being a lecturer in critical care to that of Head of Department (HOD) for Acute Care. Her current role is acting Course Group Leader (CPD) for the Faculty and Course leader for primary and Community Care.

Research interests

What is the relationship between the biological sciences and the clinical decision making process of critical care nurses?

This study explored the relationship between knowledge of the biological sciences and the clinical decision making process of critical care nurses, and how these decisions impact on patient experience.

The study observed nurses and patients in a care setting and use semi-structured interviews to provide a review of the nurses’ decision making role and what is currently being taught on education programmes.

Understanding this knowledge will ensure that nurses can make rapid, accurate and safe decisions, reduce the risk of error, avoid delayed interventions and ensure optimal clinical outcomes for patients and the NHS.


Lorna's teaching subjects focus on respiratory and cardiac physiology.


Master of Studies, Cambridge University

PGC Med, Cambridge University

BSc (Hons) Health & Social Studies, Anglia Polytechnic University Cambridge

Diploma in Management, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin

RGN, University of Cardiff