Published on 02/08/2023
Dr Julian Barratt and Professor Rebecca Jester
  • Professor Julian Barratt is the Lead for the Centre for Advancing Practice at NHSE Workforce, Training and Education 
  • Professor Rebecca Jester is an academic and an advanced nurse practitioner in orthopaedics
  • The first students on the new Nursing Studies (Registered Nurse Adult Nursing) BSc will begin in September 2023

Professor Julian Barratt and Professor Rebecca Jester have joined Aston University as honorary professors on the university’s new nursing studies degree course. 

Aston Medical School launched the Nursing Studies (Registered Nurse Adult Nursing) BSc course in December 2022, and the first students will begin in September 2023. The course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Julian is the Lead for the Centre for Advancing Practice at National Health Service England (NHSE) Workforce, Training and Education, and the Regional Faculty Lead for the NHS Midlands region. His registrant background is as an emergency medicine nurse and in advanced practice as a nurse practitioner in unscheduled primary care, general practice, and event healthcare. Julian has extensive clinical academic experience in advanced clinical practice, prescribing, research, and nursing academic and strategic leadership, including leading and developing multi-professional advanced practice education. He has been involved in advanced practice innovations, associated policy and research developments since the mid-1990s.

“I am excited and honoured by this opportunity to contribute to the development of nursing education and advanced practice at Aston Medical School, and I’m looking forward to working in collaboration with colleagues and students at Aston University. In particular, the provision of nursing education is a new endeavour for Aston, so it’s great to be involved in this key activity from the beginning of the first cohort of nursing students starting at the university in September 2023,” said Julian.

Rebecca’s background is as a specialist orthopaedic nurse, working in the UK and Sweden. After opting for a clinical academic career in 1997, she obtained a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of Birmingham in 2001. Her subsequent academic appointments have included Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery, Keele University, Head of the Nursing School Abu Dhabi for Griffith University, Head of Department of Adult Nursing and Midwifery, London South Bank University, Professor of Nursing, University of Wolverhampton, and Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI). She continued to work as an advanced nurse practitioner in orthopaedics during this time and has authored and contributed to a number of leading textbooks in orthopaedic and rehabilitation.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Aston University as honorary professor to support the new undergraduate nursing programme. I wish the first cohort of nursing students every success and happiness with their studies and very much looking forward to meeting them. The new nursing programme is an exciting opportunity for interprofessional learning and expanding nurse education provision at a time of unprecedented global nursing shortages,” said Rebecca.

Dr Jayne Murphy, Programme Lead for Pre-Registration Nursing at Aston University, says:

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Professor Jester and Professor Barratt on board, with their extensive experience and passion for the nursing profession.  Our nursing students will benefit greatly from their knowledge, their inspiration and influence on nursing research to benefit patient care.”

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7827 090240 or email:

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