Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster

Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Public Health
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Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster trained as an Adult Nurse in Ireland, and soon after specialised in oncology. She has a strong scientific and research background and completed her Professional Doctorate at the University of Essex in 2007. She has extensive experience in  senior leadership and management nursing roles within health and social care across the UK, Australia and Ireland. Prior to joining the University of Suffolk in 2020 she was the Executive Director of Quality at East Coast Community Healthcare. 

She is currently working as the Associate Dean for Research & Knowledge Exchange in the school of Nursing & Midwifery and is the theme lead for long term conditions within the Institute of Health & Wellbeing. Throughout her nursing career, she has worked in close collaboration with other organisations, as a Non-Executive Director, Trustee on Cancer Charity Boards, and in the development and leadership of research programmes.

Although most of Noreen's career was based working within NHS organisations, she is used to working within research and academic environments.  She has been instrumental in the development of various academic research and oncology/chemotherapy programmes.  

Noreen's teaching expertise includes: 

  • Advanced Communication and Coaching skills
  • Oncology and end of life care   
  • Research methodologies 

Noreen's main research interests are within Cancer as well as practice development. 

She is currently leading on three evaluations which include the following:  

  • An evaluation of an innovative cancer care MDT facilitators programme  
  • An evaluation of the NHS Ipswich & East Suffolk Alliance ‘One Clinical Team’ Leadership programme 
  • An evaluation of the experiences of Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship students following completion of the first two years of their four-year programme. 

Noreen is leading a collaboration with St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare in the development of a study proposal evaluating a specialist palliative care service across Great Yarmouth and Waveney. 

In collaboration with colleagues within the School of Health and Sports Science and the Big C Cancer Charity (Norwich), Noreen is leading the development of a feasibility study on cancer prehabilitation.  

She has been involved in many studies using different methodologies, most of her recent work has involved mixed methods which includes both quantitative and qualitative approaches.   


N. Cushen-Brewster, R.M. Strudwick , C. Doolan, P. Driscoll-Evans (2021) An evaluation of the experiences of radiography students working on the temporary HCPC register during the COVID-19 pandemic. Radiography, DOI: 10.1016/j.radi.2021.03.003 

Cushen-Brewster, N., Barker, A., Driscoll-Evans, P. (2021) The Experiences of Practice Educator Facilitators and Academics Supporting Adult Nursing Students Completing a Paid Placement During the COVID-19 Pandemic. COVID Special Issue – International Journal of Practice Based Health and Social Care-in Press 

Cushen-Brewster, N. Barker, A., Driscoll-Evans, P., Wigens,L., Langton H.  (2021) The experiences of adult nursing students completing their final placement during the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Nursing-in press  

Sweeting, D; Cushen-Brewster, N (2019) The Implementation of a Behavioural Coach within Primary Care, British Journal of General Practice  

Cushen, N. (2009) Fears and anxieties women experience prior to accessing breast services in Ireland, Irish Breast Care Nurses Association, (6).   

Cushen, N., South, J. (2004) Patients as teachers: the patient’s role in improving cancer services, Professional Nurse, 19(7): 395-9.  

Cushen, N., Bacon, A., Roddis, M. (2002) Using an interactive chemotherapy training package to improve patient safety, Hospital Medicine, 63(5): 44-46.   

Napier, M. P., Sharma, S. K., Springer, C.J., Bagshawe, K. D., Green, A. J., Martin, J., Stribbling, S. M., Cushen, N., O’Malley, D., Begent, R. H. (2000) Antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy: efficacy and mechanism of action in colorectal carcinoma, Clinical Cancer Research, 6(3): 765-72. 

Cushen, N., Wigens, L. (2000) A staff support mechanism: the transformational partnership, British Journal of Nursing, 9(16): 1074-8.  

Hope-Stone, L., Napier, M., Begent, R., Cushen, N., O'Malley, D. (1997) The importance of measuring quality of life in phase I/II trials of cancer therapy: The effects of antibody targeted therapy, European Journal of Cancer Care, 6(4): 267-272.  

Begent R, Verharr M, Chester KA, Casey JL, Napier MP, Hope-Stone LD, Cushen N, Keep PA, Johnson CJ, Hawkins RE, Hilson AJ, Robson L (1996) Clinical evidence of efficient tumour targeting based on single chain Fv antibody selected from a combinatorial library, Nature Medicine, 2(9): 979-84.  


Cushen, N. (2004) Let’s appoint more nurse consultants, Nursing Times, 100(33) 18.  

Cushen, N. (2004) Genetic cancer tests can be misleading, Nursing Times, 100(22) 18. 

Cushen, N. (2004) Are nurses becoming too specialised? Nursing Times, 100(6): 16.   

Cushen, N. (2003) We need funding for qualitative research, Nursing Times, 99(38): 16.  

Cushen, N. (2003) All patients’ views are important, Nursing Times, 99(24): 17.  

Cushen, N. (2003) Good intentions may go up in smoke, Nursing Times, 99(9): 17.  

Cushen, N. (2002) Do trusts have stars in their eyes?, Nursing Times, 98(49): 17.  

Cushen, N. (2002) The year of living conspicuously, Nursing Times, 98(6): 27-8.  

Cushen, N. (2001) A way forward for nurse recruitment, Nursing Times, 97(37): 35. 

Conference Presentations 

Sweeting, D. Cushen-Brewster, N (2019) To what extent does a warm home impact on health and wellbeing?” Sustainibility RISE Awards Conference, Ipswich. This project won the 2019 RISE award for Social Value. 

Cushen-Brewster, N. (2014) Integration-empowering people to stay at home ‘nothing between us that we cannot reslove’  East of England Clinical Senate,  Stanstead Airport 

Cushen, N,  Darrah, C., Moore J, Horne, C (2012)  Enhancing Knowledge and Skills in Clinical Research: A partnership approach. Cardiff City Hall 

Cushen, N. (2009) Fears and anxieties that women in Ireland experience prior to accessing breast services and their personal experiences of their treatment pathway, [Oral Presentation], The Annual Irish Breast Care Nurses Association Conference, Croke Park Conference Stadium, Dublin, April. 

Cushen, N. (2007) A randomised controlled trial of the psychological and quality of life effects of Daily Diary Cards on patients undergoing chemotherapy, [Oral Presentation], The 8th Interdisciplinary Research Conference, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, November.  

Cushen, N. (2006) Background and use of complementary therapies in cancer care, [Oral Presentation], The Difficulties of Implementing NICE Guidelines for Supportive and Palliative Care, Cambridge, September. 

Cushen, N. (2006) NICE Guidelines for suspected cancers - who’s responsibility is it to ensure patients are supported?, [Oral Presentation], The GP’s role in the Implementation of the NICE Guidelines for Suspected Cancers, Fulbourn, Cambridge, May. 

Cushen, N. (2004) The challenges in setting up nurse-led clinics, and how to overcome them, [Oral Presentation], Nurse Led Care and Clinics in Oncology, London, November. 

Cushen, N. (2004) Patients as Teachers Model, [Oral Presentation], Patient Involvement Empowerment Information Conference, Manchester, May. 

Cushen, N. (2003) Case Study: recruiting and retaining nurses in specialist areas, [Oral presentation], Recruitment and Retention of Nurses (Conference organised by The Nursing Times), London, March.  

Cushen, N. (2003) Developing Patient Involvement – Work based learning, [Workshop], The Contribution of Nurse Consultants to the Modernisation Agenda (Conference organised by the Harrogate Centre), London, March. 

Cushen, N. (2002) The Patients as Teachers Model, [Workshop] Bacup Conference, London, December. 

Cushen, N. (2002) Using an interactive training package for the safe administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy, [Oral presentation], 12th International Conference on Cancer Nursing 2002, London, August – September. 

Cushen, N. (2002) A study of the training and educational needs of nurses delivering cancer care in a large district hospital, [Poster presentation], 12th International Conference on Cancer Nursing 2002, London, August – September.  

Cushen, N. (2001) Innovation in practice, [Oral presentation],  A Celebration of Practice (Princess Alexandra Hospital Conference), Harlow, November.  

Cushen, N. (2001) The cutting edge, [Oral presentation], Who wants to be a Nurse / Therapy Consultant? (NHS Executive Eastern Region conference), Cambridge , June. 

Cushen, N., Armitage, G., Callum, R. (2001) Teamwork is the key to providing patient care for colorectal cancer patients, [Poster presentation], Working Together Can Make a Difference in Cancer Care, Ipswich, March. 

Cushen, N. (2001) A study of the post-registration educational qualifications of trained nurses in a cancer unit in a large District General Hospital, [Poster presentation], National Cancer Nursing Conference (Royal Marsden/RCN Conference), London, March. 

Cushen, N., Wigens, L. (2001) A staff support mechanism: the transformational partnership, [Oral presentation], National Cancer Nursing Conference (Royal Marsden/RCN Conference), London, March. 

Cushen, N., Parrish, L. (2000) (An audit of a PICC placement service has improved quality and reduced costs, [Oral presentation], Cancer Care 2000 (RCN Conference), Chester, February. 

Cushen, N., McEwan, L. (1999) The benefits of a patient information booklet for breast cancer patients: an audit of its use after a twelve month period, [Poster presentation], Breakthrough Breast Cancer Conference, London, November. 

Cushen, N. (1996) The nurse's role in the co-ordination of ADEPT (Antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy): A new way forward for bowel cancer, [Poster presentation] CANCER CARE - Meeting the challenge (RCN conference), Glasgow, October.    

Noreen enjoyed working collaboratively with other organisations, developing services, and evaluating the effectiveness of the new innovations.  She has been a Non-Executive Director for a local health social enterprise and supported them in developing their governance and quality processes.  

Noreen has worked closely with many charitable organisations and is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Big C Cancer Charity in Norwich.  She hopes to be able to use her clinical/leadership experience to support them in the development of new initiatives.   

Noreen is collaborating with colleagues in the Health Research Institute at the University of Limerick in Southern Ireland to develop a programme of research relating to cancer care and practice evaluation.