Dr Kate Kirk

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour in Healthcare

School/Department: Population Health Sciences, Department of



I work across the Medical School and Department of Population Health Sciences.

I am a member of the Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group and specialise in qualitative methods to understand organisational behaviour in healthcare, ethnography and researching sensitive topics in healthcare. I am a Registered Nurse by clinical background and specialise in emergency care.

Research interests: healthcare workforce and wellbeing; quality, safety and risk; how we create environments which allow healthcare staff to thrive; emotion work and regulation; emergency care.

Teaching: Senior Fellow status with the Higher Education Authority. I lead lMRes (Quality and Safety) and BSc (Clinical Science) modules. Topics are diverse and include various elements of medical/nursing/health sociology and the translation to practice, research methods in healthcare and health leadership and management. 


I have undertaken the Research Internship, MA in Research Methods (University of Nottingham) and Post-doctoral Bridging Award, all with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). 

My passion is through sharing / translating knowledge between academia and practice, and I am involved with ongoing NHS based improvement projects relating to workforce. This includes advising on the Chief Nursing Officer for England's Health and Wellbeing Reference Group.


Kirk, K. Cohen, L. Edgley, A. and Timmons, S. 2021. “I don’t have any emotions: An ethnography of emotional labour and feeling rules in the emergency department. Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Kirk, K. and Edgley, A. 2021. Insights into nurses' precarious emotional labour in the emergency department. Emergency Nurse. Volume 6, Issue 29, Pages 22-26.

Kirk, K. and Kane, R. 2016. A qualitative exploration of intentional nursing round models in the emergency department setting: Investigating the barriers to their use and success. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Volume 25, Issue 9-10, Pages 1262-1272.

Critical ethnography: A method for grasping and improving workplace cultures when the ethnographer is an embedded researcher, 2021. Øye, C., Green, C., Kirk, K., Vindrola-Padros, C. & Fairbrother, G. In: Manley, K. Wilson, V. and Øye, C. International Practice Development in Health and Social Care, Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, London.


Nursing / healthcare workforce and wellbeing; emotions and emotional regulation; qualitative methods to understand organisational behaviour in healthcare


MSc Quality and Safety in Healthcare and BSc Clinical Sciences

Press and media

NHS nursing / workforce challenges; staff burnout and emotional distress; implications for patient safety and care left 'undone'

Back to top