Tessa is originally from the Vale of Glamorgan. She graduated from London University and subsequently completed the prestigious MSc in Nursing at University of Wales College of Medicine (now part of Cardiff University) whilst working full time as an RN for Marie Curie in South Wales. As a qualified teacher, she joined the education team for Marie Curie on completion of MSc and was a key player in the design and delivery of the first Diploma in Palliative Nursing (Distance Learning) for Registered Nurses, validated by UWCM. She was appointed as Lecturer in Nursing Theory at Swansea in March 1996 having left Marie Curie to seek some experience with undergraduates in the higher education setting. Tessa initiated, developed and led the first BSc in Palliative Nursing (with spq) in Wales, the original BSc Cancer Nursing programme, established and chaired the Cancer and Palliative Care Research and Education forum and led the organisation of a successful Cancer Nursing conference at Swansea.
She was promoted to Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) and Programme Director for the BN Programme in 2003 – a new role created to lead the implementation of the Fitness for Practice Nursing Curriculum and continued in this post until 2009. In addition to Programme Director she was interim head of nursing and midwifery education 2005-2007 and an active member of the All Wales Fitness for Practice.
In 2009, Tessa moved into postgraduate studies as Director for the multi-professional MSc Long Term and Chronic Conditions Management and leads a number of Masters level modules whilst simultaneously taking on a strategic College role for recruitment and admissions and inclusion. She is passionate about inclusion and collaborated with the SWWRWP on the development and implementation of the first Introduction to Health and Social Care module within the Reaching Wider Summer University scheme.
Tessa is an active qualitative researcher, publishing and making conference presentations with a focus on palliative care and education. Her key area of interest is end-of-life care decision making – work focusing on the initiation of end-of-life care pathways was part of the report informing the Neuberger review of the Liverpool Care Pathway and whilst recognising recent initiatives, including new Welsh guidance she firmly believes there is much to do in terms of educating healthcare professionals and the public about palliative and end-of-life care.
Tessa is internationally recognised, having developed collaborations in Australia. Her keen interest, knowledge and experience in pedagogical research is shared with colleagues within the College of Human and Health Science. Tessa has recently created a Research Interest in Health Group and is actively supporting neophyte researchers. She is a mentor on the Mary Williams mentorship scheme in which she supports female academics to reach their potential.
Tessa is a truly inspirational leader and excellent role model; she is valued by her colleagues and held in high regard amongst nurses and educationalists.