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You are here Events & Conferences > Trinity Spirituality Research & Innovation Group International Conference 2021 > Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion 'Contemporary issues in spirituality’

Panel Members

Dr Josephine Attard PhD MSc SN SCM PGCE
Head of the Midwifery Department and Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta

Click here for Biography Dr Josephine Attard

Dr Josephine Attard is Head of the Midwifery Department and Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta. Josephine qualified as nurse-midwife in 1981 and pursued clinical experience in the areas of antenatal, intra-natal and postnatal care. She obtained post-graduate certificate in education in 1991 from the University of Malta, MSc in nursing and midwifery education in 1999 and Doctoral Degree from the University of South Wales UK in 2015. Her PhD on the design and evaluation of a competency framework addresses the need for a rigorous and validated competency framework in spiritual care to guide the education and practice of nurses/midwives. Dr. Attard is currently Head of midwifery department, teaching and supervising students at BSc, Master’s and PhD level. Dr Attard is coordinator of the Erasmus+ midwifery Programme. She represented the University of Malta as the EPICC partner and is a committee member of the EPICC network.

Professor Tove Giske
VID Specialised University, Bergen Campus in Norway

Click here for Biography Professor Tove Giske

Professor Tove Giske VID Specialised University, Bergen Campus in Norway and has experience in teaching and supervising undergraduate nursing students for more than 20 years and she has taken part in curriculum development in the area of spiritual care. Tove has researched the area since 1995 and published many studies internationally. She has, together with an international team, developed a 12 h teaching program ‘Art and Science of Spiritual Care’ that she has taught in many countries around the world. Tove has given more than 35 presentations related to spiritual care at international professional conferences, most of them by invitation. Tove has been a member of the steering group of European Spirituality in Nursing Care Research network since 2009. She is also the President of Nurses Christian Fellowship International. She is an EPICC Strategic Partner.

Professor Elizabeth Johnston Taylor
Loma Linda University School of Nursing

Click here for Biography Professor Elizabeth Johnston Taylor

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, Loma Linda University School of Nursing, Loma Linda, California, USA, has pursued a program of research exploring the intersection of spirituality, religiosity, health, and nursing for over 25 years. Her clinical experiences as an oncology nurse created for her a deep interest in these topics, and led her to pursue a PhD (University of Pennsylvania 1992), a post-doctoral fellowship (UCLA, 1993-95), Clinical Pastoral Education, and training in spiritual direction. Her life experiences include a 4-year stint as Research Director, Mary Potter Hospice, Wellington, New Zealand. The desire to help nurses understand and support patient spiritual health during health-related transitions has motivated Beth to write extensively and lecture globally. Her books include Spiritual Care: Nursing Theory, Research, and Practice (Prentice Hall, 2002), What Do I Say? Talking with Patients about Spirituality (Templeton Press, 2007), and Religion: A Clinical Guide for Nurses (Springer, 2012). Her latest book, Fast facts about religion: Implications for nursing care (Springer, 2019), provides clinicians with quick access to healthcare-related information about religions. She is grateful for research funding received from various federal government and private foundation sources


Professor Wilfred McSherry
Professor in Nursing, Staffordshire University, University Hospitals North Midlands NHS Trust, VID University College, Norway

Click here for Biography Professor Wilfred McSherry

Wilfred McSherry is a Professor in Nursing working in the Department of Nursing, School of Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University, and the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust United Kingdom. He is also a part-time Professor at VID University College, Bergen, Norway. Wilf has had a career in nursing working as a Registered Nurse primarily within Acute Hospital Care with a focus upon care of the older person and end of life care. His interest in the spiritual dimension developed alongside a realisation that this aspect of care was neglected and forgotten by some healthcare professionals. He has published extensively in this field with several books and many peer-reviewed articles addressing different aspects of the spiritual dimension. In 2010 Wilf led on a piece of work for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) exploring members perceptions of spirituality. Wilf is a founding and executive member of the International Network for the Study of Spirituality (formerly British Association for The Study of Spirituality (BASS) and a Principal Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. In 2012 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing for his unique contribution to nursing in the areas of spirituality and dignity. Wilf was Lead Partner for the European project titled Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovation Education and Compassionate Care (EPICC) and is a steering group member of the recently established EPICC Network.

Professor Linda Ross
Professor of Nursing, University of South Wales

Click here for Biography Professor Linda Ross

Linda is a Professor of Nursing (specialising in spirituality) at the University of South Wales. Her PhD in 1992 was the first in Europe to explore nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care which she published as a book in 1997. She has published extensively on the subject of spirituality, contributing to numerous texts such as the ‘Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare’ (2012) and co-editing ‘Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare Practice’ (2010). She contributed to the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Spirituality in Nursing Care’ educational resources, and to the spiritual care guidance which accompanies the Welsh Government’s Health and Care Standards (2015). She is a founding member and Membership Secretary for the International Network for the Study of Spirituality (formerly BASS) and an Executive Editor for the Society’s affiliated ‘Journal for the Study of Spirituality’. She co-led (with 5 other partners) an Erasmus funded 3 year project to establish best practice in spiritual care nurse education across Europe (

Professor René van Leeuwen
Professor in Nursing, Nursing Faculty, Viaa University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle, Netherlands

Click here for Biography Professor René van Leeuwen

René van Leeuwen is professor in nursing at the Nursing Faculty of Viaa University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle, Netherlands. There he is leading the research group on ‘Healthcare and Spirituality’. He is chair of the EPICC Network, an international network for spiritual care education in nursing and midwifery..