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NET2019 Conference

Following a successful event in 2018, the leading annual international conference for networking in healthcare education, returns in 2019 to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

NET2019 offers a complete conference experience to UK and overseas delegates including: Keynote papers from leading speakers and educators; Presentations on key healthcare themes Networking time with presenters and delegates; A choice of leading-edge symposia; Specially commissioned workshops; Innovative poster presentations; Accommodation available on site; Conference dinner and entertainment.

"Very well organised with a wide range of topics and themes relevant to current practice."

NET2018 delegate

Date: 3 - 5 September 2019
Venue: Keele University, UK
Who: Healthcare education professionals

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Conference Themes


Themed sessions

Sessions will relate to one of this year's 13 conference themes lists below:

  1. Developing the future healthcare education workforce
  2. Education in clinical practice and practice development
  3. Educational enhancement
  4. E-learning/blended learning
  5. Humanising healthcare education
  6. Inclusivity in healthcare education
  7. Internationalisation and global challenges in healthcare education
  8. Interprofessional learning and working Learning and teaching strategies
  9. Partnership working
  10. Social, economic and policy drivers in healthcare
  11. Student experience and engagement
  12. Using simulation to enhance learning


Poster sessions

There will be a number of oral poster presentation sessions running throughout the conference, sharing knowledge across all of the conference themes.

Guidance on how to prepare an academic poster for NET2019 can be downloaded below:

Download Resource

Tips and guidance on preparing an academic poster for the NET conference


Keynote Speakers

Helen O’Sullivan

Helen O’Sullivan is Professor of Medical Education and joined Keele University as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) in January 2018. She was previously Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Online Learning at University of Liverpool. As PVC at Keele, she takes strategic leadership for education and is currently interested in the concept of social learning as well as expanding the Keele community through developing flexible, online and transnational education. 

Helen graduated in molecular biology at the University of Liverpool before taking a PhD in bacterial genetics. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Liverpool, she moved to a lectureship in Biological Sciences at Liverpool Hope University. 
Helen moved back to University of Liverpool in 2006 to lead the Hefce funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The work of the Centre helped to shape how medical professionalism is taught across medical schools in the UK and internationally. Her research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in developing professionalism and leadership in doctors. Her current external activities include membership of UUK International’s TNE Advisory Group and of the Jisc Horizon Group.

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Jonathan Stephen

Jonathan is the former Education Officer and, currently, President of Huddersfield Students’ Union for 2018–19. His educational background is in psychology, with wider interests in social action, policy development, and equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Jonathan’s route into higher education was atypical: after leaving high school with no qualifications, he enrolled on an access course to gain the GCSEs and diploma required to enter university where he studied psychology. 

Since graduating in 2016, Jonathan has participated in a number of global development opportunities, including Merit 360 and World Merit – a social enterprise taking action on social issues to make the world a better place, using the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals as a framework for action. He was also elected Education Officer and then President of Huddersfield Students’ Union. In these roles he has been involved in developments associated with the Teaching Excellence Framework (a system introduced in 2017 by the UK Government to assess the quality of teaching in universities in England and some in Scotland and Wales) and also a number of student engagement projects with the Office for Students (the independent regulator of higher education in England, established in 2018). 
Jonathan is now planning to further his passion for global development, change and conflict and so is pursuing a postgraduate course in international development.    

Jonathan's presentation at the NET2019 Conference is entitled 'Just listening isn't enough anymore - it's time to trust your students...' 


Philip Darbyshire

Philip has a background of 45 years’ experience in clinical nursing, education, research, leadership and health service development. He is as keen on creating great nursing and health services and fantastic learning experiences for students as he was at the start of his career. 

Philip moved from Scotland to Adelaide in 1996 to take up Australia’s first ‘Joint Chair’ Research Professor of Nursing position at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital, in a unique three-way partnership with the Women’s & Children’s Hospital, UniSA and Flinders Universities.

For 13 years he led one of Australia’s most successful practice-based research departments at Women’s & Children’s Hospital, described by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards as an “example of excellence in research leadership”. The department’s credo, even then, was that ALL research undertaken would involve children, young people, families and clinicians as active participants — and it was. Research was done WITH parents and children, not ON them: children living with acute and chronic illness, children living in ‘problem gambling families’, homeless children with mental health issues, parents of a child with a disability, children living with life-threatening and life-limiting disorders and more.

After 13 years at Women’s & Children’s Philip took up the late Steve Jobs’ challenge of: “Don’t settle…” During the world’s worst global financial crisis in 2008 he left his secure position to create an independent research and consulting business to advise and support nurse leaders, health services, NGOs and universities worldwide as they worked out how they were going to adapt to and thrive in our Brave New World. In addition to being an object lesson in radical change, this has given Philip the opportunity to work with some truly go-ahead organisations in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Norway, Sweden and Italy.

The Australian College of Health Service Management called Philip: “the ‘go-to’ person for hospitals and health care organizations who want research and evidence-based practice demystified and moved out of the ‘too-hard basket’ and into the hearts and minds of clinicians who will use it make a real difference”.

Philip’s consulting work has involved creating research and evidence-based cultures, evaluating and reviewing Schools of Nursing & Midwifery and health services, and especially, helping organisations “change how they change”.

Philip writes a fair bit and is a sought-after speaker and presenter (If you value such metrics, he has an H-index of 33 (13/3/19). He is a proud ambassador for the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare, and is the Patron of ‘Supporting Silk Sisters’ – an amazing, nurse-run charitable trust helping mothers, babies and families in Cambodia.

For fun, and in a vain attempt to keep in touch with his lost physique and youth, he enjoys donning the lycra to ride his beautiful Bianchi as a ‘weekend warrior cyclist’.

Philip is finally retiring at the end of this year.  He hopes he has made some positive difference to nursing.

Follow Philip on Twitter: @PDarbyshire
Philip’s website with plenty of free resources is at:


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Conference Programme

You can download the draft conference programme below. Please note this programme is a draft and is subject to change.

Download Resource

NET2019 Conference Programme - Day 1

Download Resource

NET2019 Conference Programme - Day 2

Download Resource

NET2019 Conference Programme - Day 3



NET2019 is an exceptional opportunity to debate and share research, innovation and the latest developments in healthcare education with a wide range of practitioners, educators, researchers and students from UK and international healthcare professions.

The NET Conference ethos is unique, with highly experienced convenors facilitating presentations and in-depth group discussions in extended themed sessions with presenters and delegates all contributing to the debate, sharing experiences and networking.

We actively encourage student participation in the conference via oral presentations and poster sessions, with student abstracts being eligible for the Andrew McKie Best Student Abstract Award.

Organising Committee

- Dr Liz Clark, previously Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, and Director of the OU–RCN Strategic Alliance; now retired

- Professor Gary Rolfe, Emeritus Professor, Swansea University

- Dr Celia Brigg, Associate Director Events and Conferences, Advance HE

- Michelle Ellwood, Director of Student Education, University of Leeds

- Dr Heather Ingram, Director of Learning and Teaching, Keele University

- Dr Andrew Melling, Director of Distance and Online Learning, Northumbria University