The University of Ulster has appointed Dr Owen Barr, one of Northern Ireland’s leading researchers on healthcare for people with learning disabilities, as Professor of Nursing.
Professor Barr, who is based at the Magee campus, qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) at the Western Area College of Nursing, Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry, in 1984.
He is currently Head of the University’s School of Nursing and is the first Professor of Nursing to be appointed at the Derry campus.
Professor Barr said: “I am greatly honoured by the appointment. I see it as further recognition of the development of nursing studies across the University as well as of the high stature that Nursing holds in the University’s key functions of teaching, learning and research.”
Appointed Head of School in December 2007, he is responsible for overseeing the work of the School of Nursing across the University.
The School has an annual intake of some 330 pre-registration and post-registration students at Magee, Coleraine and Jordanstown and offers a range of courses from degree to PhD level.
Ulster is recognised internationally as a leading centre of nursing education and research. has been officially recognised as being in the UK’s top nursing education providers..
Professor Barr has researched and written widely on access to healthcare by, and family support for, people with learning disabilities, and also about the impact of receiving personal genetic information, for which he obtained his PhD in 2005.
A Derry man, Professor Barr lives at Culmore and was educated at St Columb’s College. He undertook his RGN studies at Altnagelvin during 1981-84. After developing a particular interest in learning disability nursing, he trained as a Registered Nurse Learning Disability in Exeter before returning to work at the Stradreagh Hospital, Derry between 1984-88.
After a year as a community nurse in learning disabilities in Coleraine, he branched into an educational role, undertaking the Advanced Diploma in Education Studies for Nurses. He was a Tutor at the Northern Area College of Nursing in Antrim in 1990-92 and held that position at the Western Area College of Nursing, Altnagelvin, during 1992-94.
He joined the University of Ulster as a Lecturer in Nursing in 1994 and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2004.