Gail Thomas

Professor Gail Thomas

  • ggthomas at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Emeritus Professor
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I began my career as a nurse in Montreal, Canada and then moved to the U.K., practising first as a neonatal nurse and then as a midwife before transferring into academia. I progressed from being a midwifery lecturer to leading a team of midwifery academics then becoming Dean of Nursing and Midwifery in a large university in London. I was awarded a PhD for my thesis `Learning to be a Midwife: The Need to Believe' in 2003. In September 2006, I relocated to Bournemouth University as Dean of Health and Social Sciences and in September 2013, I also took up leadership of the Centre for Excellence in Learning.

I have participated in many national initiatives in health care and higher education. I sat on the on the Executive Team of the Council of Deans of Health for five years following a part time secondment as acting Director of Policy from September 2009 to March 2010. I have always considered the relationship between higher education and health and social care services paramount and have developed strong links with colleagues in practice in the region to ensure positive student experiences...


Journal Articles

  • Thomas, G. and Richardson, E., 2017. Memories of Nursing: nurses' social status and origins of the RNNH. Br J Nurs, 26 (1), 26-27.
  • Thomas, G. and Rosser, E., 2017. Research findings from the Memories of Nursing oral history project. British Journal of Nursing, 26 (4), 210-216.
  • Thomas, B. and Richardson, E., 2016. Memories of nursing: a timeline of the profession. British Journal of Nursing, 25 (19), 930-1072-1974.
  • Thomas, G. and Richardson, E., 2016. Memories of Nursing: an oral history. Br J Nurs, 25 (16), 930-931.
  • Thomas, B.G. and Hanson, J., 2014. Innovative Practice Developing social integration to enhance student retention and success in higher education: the GROW@BU initiative. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 16 (3).
  • Thomas, B.G., 2007. An evidence-based strategy for midwifery education. Evidence Based Midwifery, 5, 47-53.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2007. Learning to be a midwife: the need to believe. Evidence Based Midwifery, 5, 23-28.
  • Andrews, G.J., Brodie, D.A., Andrews, J.P., Hillan, E., Gail Thomas, B., Wong, J. and Rixon, L., 2006. Professional roles and communications in clinical placements: A qualitative study of nursing students' perceptions and some models for practice. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 43 (7), 861-874.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2006. 'Making a difference': midwives' experiences of caring for women. Evidence Based Midwifery, 4, 83-88.
  • Brodie, D.A., Andrews, G.J., Andrews, J.P., Thomas, B.G., Wong, J. and Rixon, L., 2005. Working in London hospitals: perceptions of place in nursing students' employment considerations. Social Science & Medicine, 61, 1867-1881.
  • Andrews, G.J., Brodie, D.A., Andrews, J.P., Wong, J. and Thomas, B.G., 2005. Place(ment) matters: students' clinical experiences and their preferences for first employers. International Nursing Review, 52, 142-153.
  • Andrews, G.J., Brodie, D.A., Andrews, J.P., Wong, J. and Thomas, B.G., 2005. Improving first destination recruitment: nursing students' perceptions of three initiatives in London, England. Journal of Nursing Management, 13, 345-355.
  • Brodie, D.A., Andrews, G.J., Andrews, J.P., Thomas, B.G., Wong, J. and Rixon, L., 2004. Perceptions of nursing: confirmation, change and the student experience. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 41, 721-733.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2004. Minimising Risk. The Practising Midwife, 7, 28-29.
  • Thomas, B.G., Crooke, L. and Curtis, P., 2002. Pre-registration education: learning communities. Nursing Standard, 16, 38-40.
  • McCourt, C. and Thomas, B.G., 2001. Evaluation of a problem-based curriculum in midwifery. Midwifery, 17, 323-331.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2001. The possibilities of problem based learning in midwifery. The Practising Midwife, 4, 42.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2001. Reflections on facilitation in problem based learning. The Practising Midwife, 4, 42.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2001. Problem based learning: reducing the theory practice gap? The Practising Midwife, 4, 52.
  • O'Reilly, A. and Thomas, B.G., 2000. Evidence Based Midwifery in Action. The Practising Midwife, 3, 32-33.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1999. Triggering Learning in Midwifery. The Practising Midwife, 2, 32-34.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1998. The development of a problem-based curriculum in midwifery. Midwifery, 14, 261-265.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1998. The Disempowering Concept of Risk. The Practising Midwife, 1, 18-21.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1997. Midwives Access to the Higher Award: A Management or Supervision Issue. British Journal of Midwifery, 5, 364-366.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1996. Teenage sexual health promotion. Journal of the Institute of Health Education, 34, 89-94.
  • Thomas, B.G., 1995. Empowerment: the baby bath demonstration. Midwives, 108, 178.


  • Thomas, B.G., Crooke, L. and Curtis, P., 2003. Learning Communities: Innovation in Nurse Education. Supporting Learning in Nursing Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2003. The disempowering concept of risk. Midwifery: Best Practice. Edinburgh: Books for Midwives Press.
  • Thomas, B.G., 2000. Be nice and don't drop the baby. In: Page, L.A. and Percival, P., eds. The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice. Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchill Livingstone, 173-183.
  • Thomas, B., 2000. Assessment and Evaluation in Problem Based Learning. Problem Based Learning in Nursing: A New Model for a New Context?. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd.


  • Jones, K. and Thomas, G., 2013. Bournemouth’s ‘Big ReThink’ Project: An Arts-based Model for Change in a University. LSE. weblog. Published.

PhD Students

  • Lizzie Gauntlett. Building resilience in WP students
  • Stella Rawnson. Women's experience of student midwife caseloading


  • PhD in Research/Midwifery (Thames Valley University, 2003)
  • MSc in Health Promotion (Brunel University, 1994)
  • PGCE in Adult Education (Surrey University, 1991)
  • ADM in Midwifery (Surrey University, 1989)


  • Higher Education Academy, Principal Fellow (2014-),
  • Council of Deans of Health, Member of the Executive Team,
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council, Registered Midwife,
  • Royal College of Midwives, Registered Midwife,