Swansea University has awarded an honorary degree to Dame June Clark DBE, Emeritus Professor of Community Nursing at Swansea University.

The award was presented to Professor Dame June Clark today (17 December 2018) at the University’s degree ceremony for the College of Human and Health Sciences. 

June Clark qualified as a nurse at University College Hospital, London after obtaining an honours degree in Classics at London University and held various staff nurse posts before qualifying as a health visitor.  While bringing up her two children she worked part-time as a nurse, at the same time continuing with her academic work.  She obtained her MPhil from the University of Reading in 1972 and her doctorate from the South Bank University in 1985.

In 1982, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing for her work in health visiting.  

She worked in the National Health Service for 25 years, moving to higher education in 1990, where, as Professor of Nursing, she established the School of Health Care Studies at Middlesex University.  In 1997, she went home to Wales becoming Professor of Community Nursing at Swansea University, where, following her retirement in 2003, she remains Professor Emeritus and a member of Swansea University Council.  

She was awarded the Royal College of Nursing Award of Merit in 1996. 

She had led the Royal College of Nursing’s Defining Nursing project whose report was published in 2003 and her recent research, amongst other things, has focused on a continuation of what she describes as her life-long mission to understand and to communicate to others the richness and complexity of ‘this thing called nursing.’ 

Since her retirement, she remains involved in nursing and healthcare at national and local levels: she was a non-executive director of Carmarthenshire NHS Trust and more recently, of the Bevan Commission.  She is a trustee of Age Cymru.

June Clark has demonstrated a major commitment to nursing and healthcare at an international level.  Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, for example, she worked to help develop nursing leadership in Kazakhstan and Romania.  She is a visiting professor at the University of Primorska, Slovenia; and she is a frequent speaker at international conferences, participating in numerous international task groups and workshops.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing – an honour rarely awarded to a non-USA nurse – a Fellow of University College London, and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. 

In 1995, she was invested as Dame Commander of the British Empire ‘for services to nursing’. 

On receiving her award, June Clark said: “I have been so proud to have been associated with Swansea University over many years – even vicariously through my parents who were undergraduates here during the 1930s, and my children who were undergraduates here in the 80s and 90s - and so proud of what the University has achieved.  But I never imagined that the University would honour me in this way, and I am quite overwhelmed by this award.

I know the University will go on from strength to strength and I look forward to continuing to being part of its work.”