Professor Annie Topping

Professor Annie Topping

School of Nursing and Midwifery
Head of School
Professor in Nursing

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Annie Topping is a nurse, health services researcher and educator whose primary concern is improving patient outcomes and care delivery.  She is interested in the impact of nurse staffing, ways of working and service design has on interventions to improve patient safety, outcomes and quality of care.

Annie is Professor of Nursing at the University of Birmingham in partnership with University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. She has considerable experience of research capacity and capability building and mentoring aspirant non-medical healthcare practitioner researchers. She joins the Birmingham Health Partners Integrated Clinical Academic Office to augment the team involved in building clinical academic careers across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands health community. Annie leads the Organisation and Delivery of Services Research theme within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Institute of Clinical Sciences. 


PhD, PGCE, BSc (Hons) RN, LNEd (Qatar) FHEA


Annie Topping has clinical experience in a range of settings and roles including working as a clinical nurse specialist in gastrointestinal oncology and stoma care in a national cancer hospital. From 2013-2017 she was Assistant Executive Director of Nurse Education at Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar and Adjunct Clinical Professor - University of Calgary - Qatar. Previously Professor of Nursing at the University of Huddersfield (2007-2013) and was Head of Nursing (2001-2007) at the University of Bradford.

Her most recent work is concerned with interrogating clinically available data to understand the impact of the nursing workforce on patient outcomes and factors that facilitate and acts as barriers to accessing, identifying high quality and substandard care in order to improve services.

Over her lengthy career in higher education, Annie has undertaken a number of educational research and evaluation projects examining decision-making and assessment of competence, acquisition of communication skills, license to practice decisions, mentorship and strategies to enhance research capabilities. 

She has held a number of national positions here in the UK and the Middle East including Chair of the RCN Research Society and nurse member – Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners Continuing Professional Development Committee. She also has a keen interest in applied research ethics and served on institutional review boards in both the UK and Qatar. 


MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

  • Leadership in Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Dissertation (Undergraduate and MSc)

Postgraduate supervision

Subject Specialism

  • Effects of healthcare workforce staffing, roles, skill mix and educational preparation on patient outcomes
  • Interventions and improvements to reduce delays, minimise risk, increase concordance, quality and satisfaction with care
  • Cancer care
  • Educational interventions associated with decision-making, competence and extended and expanded roles


  • Quality Improvement Research  
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Qualitative synthesis


  • NUrse GraduaTeness and patient mortality (NuGat Study)
  • Service users experience of Mental Illness in Qatar: A Narrative Study
  • Transitional Experience of Post-Diploma Nurses returning to University for a undergraduate degree in Qatar
  • Nurse Educator SimuLaTED Learning – NEStled Project
  • Evidence Review of Active and Advanced Disease in Cancer see
  • Healthy Halifax Healthy Lifestyle Survey and Evaluation  
  • Comparison of supportive care models of follow up for women with breast cancer

Other activities

  • Associate Editor – BMC Medical Education
  • Member of the Editorial Board – Journal of Research in Nursing
  • Nurse Member of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accreditation Committee (2015 – 2017)
  • Member of the Qatar National Dementia Stakeholder Forum (Ministry of Public Health, WHO Global Dementia Observatory) and Co-chair of the Education and Workforce Sub-committee (2016-2017)
  • Chair – Management Committee and Steering Group Clinical Academic Training Programme Mentorship Scheme (Chief Nursing Officer [CNO]), Chief Scientific Officer [CSO] National Institute for Health Research [NIHR] (2011-2013)
  • Member of the CNO/NIHR Clinical Academic Careers Training Programme Implementation Group (2011-2013)
  • Chair of RCN Research Society Committee 2009-2011
  • Elected Member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Research Society Steering Group (2004-2013)
  • Member of the Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Nurse Practitioner Research Sub-Group
  • International Council of Nursing (ICN), 2012-2016


Burden S, Topping A, O’Halloran C (2017) Mentor judgements and decision making in the assessment of student nurse competence in practice: a mixed-methods study Journal of Advanced Nursing DOI: 10.1111/jan.13508

Cannaby, A M, Gkantaras, I, Finn, A Foreman, B, Butler, G Topping, A,  Richard Gray (2017) Implementing a Nursing Systems Framework (NSF) in a developing country: effect on patient mortality and readmission International Nursing Review DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12577

Gray R, Badnaparkar A, Hussanein E, Thomas D, Barguir L, Baker C, Jones M, Bressington D, Brown E, Topping A (2017) Registration of Randomized Controlled Trial in Nursing Journals BMC Research Integrity and Peer Review 2 (8) DOI:10.1186/s41073-017-0036-9

Kirshbaum M, Dent J, Stephenson J, Topping A E, Allinson V, McCoy M (2016) Open Access Follow-up Care for Early Breast Cancer : A randomized controlled Quality of Life Analysis European Journal of Cancer Care  1–9 DOI: 10.1111/ecc.12577

Gkantaras,I, Hahfoud Z, R, Foreman, B, Thompson, D R, Cannaby, A-M, Deshpande D H, Watson, R, Topping, A E & Gray R  (2016) The effect of Nurse GraduaTeness on patient mortality: a cross sectional survey (the NuGaT study) Journal of Advanced Nursing  DOI: 10.1111/jan.13059

Denton A, Humphries P and Topping A  (2016) Evolution of an audit and monitoring tool into an infection prevention and control process Journal of Hospital Infection

Jones J, Topping A, Wattis J  & Smith J (2016) A Concept Analysis of Spirituality in Occupational Therapy Practice, Journal for the Study of Spirituality 6:1, 38-57, DOI: 10.1080/20440243.2016.1158455

Topping A, Bøje RB, Rekola L, Hartvigsen T, Prescott S, Bland A Hope A, Haho P, Hannula L. (2015) Towards identifying nurse educator competencies required for simulation based learning: a systemised rapid review and synthesis Nurse Education Today DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2015.06.003

Garside J, Bailey R, Tyas M, Ormrod G, Stone G, Topping A, Gillibrand W P (2015) Developing a culture of publication: a joint enterprise writing retreat Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education DOI:

Burden S, Topping A, O’Halloran C (2015) The value of artefacts in simulated recall interviews: Exploring mentor decisions of students’ competence in practice Nurse Researcher 23, 1, 26-33.

Byrne, G., Topping, A., Kendall, S. and Golding, B. (2014) ‘Developing a national mentorship scheme to enhance the contribution of clinical academics to health careNurse Researcher 22 (2), pp. 23-28. ISSN 1351-5578

Alcorn J, Burton R, Topping A (2014) BCG Treatment for bladder cancer, from past to present International Journal of Urological Nursing DOI: 10.1111/ijun.12064

Alcorn A, Burton R, Topping A (2014) Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment: a review of the literature International Journal of Urological Nursing DOI: 10.1111/ijun.12055

Denton A, Humphries PN and Topping A (2014) Managing patients with clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in an NHS Trust: The development of a daily review checklist process (DRCP) Nursing Standard 28 (33) 37-43

Bland, A.J.Topping A E, Tobell J (2014) Time to unravel the conceptual confusion of authenticity and fidelity and their contribution to learning within simulation-based learning Nurse Educ. Today (2014)

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