Professor John Wells is a Fellow Ad Eundem of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and holds degrees from King's College London (PhD in Nursing); London Guildhall University/ London Metropolitan University (MSc in Care Policy and Management); Manchester University (BA Hons in History) and Southbank University (Post Graduate Diploma in Education). He is a Visiting Professor in Nursing at King's College, University of London, UK; a Visiting Professor in Mental Health and Social Integration at the University of Lincoln, UK and a Visiting Professor in Nursing at the University of Maribor, Slovenia.
He trained as a mental health nurse at St George's Hospital School of Nursing at Springfield Hospital in London. He then held a number of clinical and management positions in mental health services including Staff Nurse in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Community Mental Health Nurse, and Ward Manager, Acute Psychiatric Admissions at the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital and Springfield Hospital in London.
He took up his first academic appointment in 1991 as a lecturer in mental health nursing at the Maudsley Hospital School of Nursing. This was followed in 1993 with an appointment as a lecturer in nursing at King's College, University of London, where he remained until 1998 when he moved to Ireland and took up a lectureship in Psychiatric Nursing based in WIT.
Professor Wells was awarded a PhD by research from King's College London in 2004 with a thesis entitled ‘Community Mental Health Policy In The 1990s: A Case Study In Corporate And ‘Street Level’ Implementation’. Supervisor: Professor Dame Jennifer Wilson-Barnett (KIng's College London); Examiners: Professor Edward Peck (University of Birmingham) and Professor Jennifer Secker (Anglia Ruskin University).
Professor Wells' principal hobby outside of his academic interests is military history and wargaming, specialising in the Peloponnesian and Greco-Persian wars, the Peninsular Campaign in the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2.
Research Group : Health Informatics Research Group ►
Professor Wells has been awarded major grants from the European Union, the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health and Children either as principal investigator or a co-investigator covering such areas as work related stress amongst European health and social care workers, employment of people with mental health problems and improving recruitment policy in relation to school leavers for psychiatric nursing. Total value of grants to date are €3,403,273; £77,500 (Ir) and £5,180(stg).
Principal areas of research interest:
Policy implementation and impact on clinicians and clinical services, with particular interests in service quality improvement, work related stress and associated adaptive and mal-adaptive coping behaviours such as substance misuse;
Social integration and support of people with mental health problems;
Clinical education policy and education methods
Case study design
Use of Frameworks Analysis
Soft systems methodology
Professor Wells has a strong interest in clinical education. He is a qualified teacher and registered nurse tutor with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, where he is also chairperson of the Education and Training Committee, He is also qualfied in the use of MITA teaching approaches. Some of his first research when he moved to Ireland (funded by the Department of Health and Children) focused on reasons why Leaving Certificate students considering nursing did not choose psychiatric nursing - Wells, JSG, Ryan, D, McElwee, CN, Boyce, M. & Forkan, C. (2000) Worthy Not Worthwhile? Choosing Careers in Caring Occupations Dublin Centre for Social Care Research
Principal areas of teaching at undergraduate and post graduate level:
Bio-politics in the 20th century
Research methods - specialising in case study design and methods, qualitative analysis and research ethics
My Professional Experience
Current and Previous Positions
Head of the School of Health Science in WIT since 2012. Prior to that head of the Department of Nursing in WIT from 2006.
Member of the Executive Board of WIT; Member of the WIT Academic Council;chairperson of the WIT Research Ethics Committee and chairperson of the WIT Student Disciplinary Committee.
Current Community Involvement
Member of the Brothers of Charity Human Rights Committee
Member of the Tricolour Annual Commemoration Organising Committee
Current National Appointments
Ministerial appointment to the Board of Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland)
Chairperson of the Education and Training Committee of Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland)
Current International Appointments
Visiting professor in mental health and social integration, University of Lincoln
International Ambassador Vision 20/20 initiative Drexel University College of Medicine, USA
Member of the Editorial Board The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services
Associate Fellow NHS Faculty for Improvement
Peer Reviewed Journal Papers
Wells, JSG & Bergin, M (2015) British Icons and Catholic Perfidy – Anglo-Saxon Historiography and the Battle for Crimean War Nursing Nursing Inquiry DOI: 10.1111/nin.12104
Bennett, L; Bergin, M; Gooney, M, Doherty CP, Synnott, C & Wells, JSG (2015) Epilepsy services in Ireland: A survey of people with epilepsy in relation to satisfaction, preferences and information provision. Epilepsy Research 113:11-18
Dobrowolska, B; McGonagle, I; Jackson, C; Kane, R; Cabrera, E; Cooney-Miner, D; i Cara, D; Pajnkihar, M; Prlic, N; igurardóttir, A.K; Kekuš, D; Wells, J; & Palese, A (2015) Clinical practice models in nursing education. Implication for students' mobility International Nursing Review 62:1:36-46
Murphy,L; Wells, JS; Lachman, P; Bergin, M (2015) A Quality Improvement Initiative in Community Mental Health in the Republic of Ireland Health Science Journal 9:1:3:1-11
Wells, JSG & White, M. (2014) The impact of the economic crisis and austerity on the nursing and midwifery professions in the Republic of Ireland – ‘boom’, ‘bust’ and retrenchment Journal of Research in Nursing 19:7–8: 562–577
Murphy, A, Wells, JSG, Chesser-Smyth, P, Sheahan, L, and Foley, M (2014) An exploratory survey of low risk pregnant women’s perceptions of antenatal care and services in Southern Ireland International Journal of Childbirth 4:3:169-182
Wells, JSG (2014) GUEST EDITORIAL: ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves’. Reflections on Norman (2014) Nursing must be a graduate profession (Well he would say that wouldn’t he!) International Journal of Nursing Studies DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.04.014
Bergin, M; Wells, JSG & Owen, S (2014) Gender Awareness, Symptom Expressions and Irish Mental Health Care Provision Journal of Gender Studies doi. 10.1080/09589236.2014.9179
White, M; Wells, JSG & Butterworth, T (2014) The impact of a large-scale Quality Improvement Programme on Work Engagement; Preliminary Results from a national cross-sectional-survey of the ‘Productive Ward’ International Journal of Nursing Studies DOI:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.05.002
White, M; Wells, JSG & Butterworth, T (2014) The Transition of a Large-scale Quality Improvement Initiative: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Productive Ward – Releasing Time to Care Programme Journal of Clinical Nursing doi.1111/j
White, M; Wells, JSG & Butterworth, T (2013) Leadership, A Key Element of Quality Improvement in Healthcare. Results from a literature review of ‘Lean Healthcare’ and the Productive Ward: Releasing Time to Care Initiative. International Journal of Leadership in Public Services 9(3/4).
Brennan, R.; Van Hout, MC., & Wells, JSG (2013) Heuristics of human enhancement risk: a little chemical help?, International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 51:4, 212-227
White, M; Wells, JSG and Butterworth, T (2013) The Productive Ward: Releasing Time to Care™: What we can learn from the Literature for Implementation Journal of Nursing Management doi: 10.1111/jonm.12069
Bergin, M; Wells, JSG and Owen, S (2013) Towards a Gendered Perspective for Irish Mental Health Policy and Service Provision Journal of Mental Health 22:4: 350–360
Wells, JSG (2011) GUEST EDITORIAL, The Impact of Stress Amongst Health Professionals Journal of Mental Health 20(22) 111-114
Wells, JSG; Denny, M and Cunningham, J (2011) Work related stress and European policy – A comparative exploration of contextual stressors in the rehabilitation sector in five European countries Journal of Mental Health 20(22)165-173
Ridge, M., Wells, JSG, Denny, M., Cunningham, J, & Chalder, T (2011) Developing a web-based stress management intervention for occupational support workers Journal of Mental Health 20(22) 185-197
Denny, M. Wells, JSG & Cunningham, J (2011) Assessing psychosocial job strain amongst mental and intellectual disability services support workers in five European countries: implications for workforce development. The Journal of Mental Health Training. Education and Practice 51(4):212-227
Wells, JSG & Denny, M (2010) Reducing stress within the rehabilitative work setting– A Report on the ROSE Project. M.D. Lytras et al. (Eds.): Tec-Education 2010, CCIS 73, pp. 688–689,
Bergin M., Wells JSG. , & Owen S (2010) Relating realist metatheory to issues of gender and mental health, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 17, 442-451
Wells, JSG & Norman, IJ (2009) GUEST EDITORIAL: The ‘Greying’ Of Europe - Reflections On The State Of Nursing And Nurse Education In Europe Nurse Education Today 29:8:811-815
Wells, JSG, Bergin, M, Gooney, M & Jones, A (2009) Views on Nurse Prescribing in Ireland: A Report on a Survey of Community Mental Health Nurses Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 16:10-17
Bergin, M, Wells, JSG, & Owen, S (2008) Critical Realism: a philosophical framework for the study of gender and mental health Journal of Nursing Philosophy 9:169-179
Rabenschlag, F, Wells, JSG, Heffernan, D, Walls, N, Jones A & Needham, I (2008) Employing workers with mental health problems: the employers' perspective (Anstellung von Arbeitnehmenden mit psychischen Gesundheitsprob-lemen: Die Sicht der Arbeitgebenden) Zeitschrift f r Pflegewissenschaft und psychische Gesundheit 2(1):2-11
Denny, M, Weber, E,, Wells, JSG., Redmond Stokes, O, Lane, P (2007) Matching Purpose With Practice: Revolutionising Nurse Education With MITA Nurse Education Today doi.10.1016/j.nedt.2007.03.004
Wells, JSG (2006) Hospital-based industrial therapy units and the people who work in them – an Irish case analysis using a soft-systems approach Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 13:139-147
Hartrey, L. & Wells, JSG (2003) The meaning of respite care to mothers of children with learning disabilities: two Irish case studies Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 10:3:335-342
Wells, JSG (2001) The Education and Training for Work of People with Mental Health Problems – Issues Arising from Recent Changes Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies 3:1:5-12
Wells, JSG. & McElwee, CN (2000) The Recruitment Crisis in Nursing - Placing Irish Psychiatric Nursing in Context Journal of Advanced Nursing 32:1:10-18
Wells, JSG (2000) The Future of Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder in Ireland Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies 2:2:32-44
Wells, JSG. Ryan, D. & McElwee, CN (2000) ‘I don’t want to be a psychiatric nurse’: an exploration of factors inhibiting recruitment to psychiatric nursing in Ireland Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 7:79-87
Wells, JSG. & Ryan, D (2000) Image Problems in Ireland Mental Health Nursing 20:2:14-18
Wells, JSG (1999) “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child” Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies 1:2:2-26
Wells, JSG (1998) Severe mental illness, statutory supervision and Mental Health Nursing - Meeting the Challenge Journal of Advanced Nursing 27:698-706
Wells, JSG (1997) Priorities, “Street Level Bureaucracy” and the Community Mental Health Team Journal of Health and Social Care in the Community 5:5:333-342
Wells, JSG (1996) The public/professional interface with priority setting in the NHS. Journal of Health and Social Care in the Community 4:5:330-338
Wells, JSG (1995) Discontent without focus? An analysis of nurse management activity on a psychiatric in-patient facility using a “soft systems” approach Journal of Advanced Nursing 21:214-221
Wells, JSG (1995) Health care rationing: nursing perspectives Journal of Advanced Nursing 22:738-744
Wells, JSG (1994) Analysis of health rationing policies in the NHS British Journal of Nursing 3:4:188-191