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PhD, BA Nursing (Distinction), RGN, FHEA


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Linda is a Professor of Nursing (specialising in spirituality) at the University of South Wales. Her PhD in 1992 was the first 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’ (Cobb, Rumbold & Puchalski, 2012) and ‘Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare Practice (McSherry & Ross, 2010). For the last 30 years such has led numerous research studies on spiritual care in both nursing practice and nurse education, as well as leading training workshops and seminars for healthcare staff internationally. She contributed to the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Spirituality in nursing Care: a pocket guide’ and ‘Spirituality in nursing care on-line resource’, and to the spiritual care guidance which accompanies the Welsh Government’s Health and Care Standards (2015). She is a founding member and Secretary for the British Society for the Study of Spirituality and an Executive Editor for the Society’s affiliated journal ‘Journal for the Study of Spirituality’. She is also a founding member of the European Spirituality in Nursing Research Network which is currently leading an Erasmus funded 3 year project to establish best practice in spiritual care nurse education across Europe (


Masters and PhD supervision.


Over 30 journal articles, 2 books, 6 book chapters.

Key papers/texts:
McSherry W, Ross L, Balthip Q, Ross N, Young S. Chapter 3: Spiritual assessment in healthcare: an overview of comprehensive, sensitive approaches to spiritual assessment for use within the interdisciplinary healthcare team. In Spirituality in Healthcare: Quality and Performance, Springer Nature. Commissioned chapter. Submitted November 2017. Due for publication 2019.

Ross L, McSherry W. (2018). Two questions that ensure person-centred spiritual care. Nursing Standard [Internet]. Available from:

Ross L, McSherry W, Giske T, van Leeuwen R, Schep-Akkerman A, Koslander T, Hall J, Østergaard Steenfeldt V, Jarvis P (2018) Nursing and midwifery students’ perceptions of spirituality, spiritual care, and spiritual care competency: a prospective, longitudinal, correlational European study. Nurse Education Today, 67, 64-71.

Ross L & McSherry W (2017) Spiritual care should be part of the Code. Nursing Standard, 31, 33, 29.

Ross L, Austin J, Jarvis P, Pickett S (2017) Spiritual support in end stage heart failure: a randomised controlled feasibility study. Pontypridd, University of South Wales (ISBN 978-1-909838-28-4)

Ross L, Giske T, van Leeuwen R, Baldacchino D, McSherry W, Narayanasamy A, Jarvis P, Schep-Akkerman A. (2016) Factors contributing to student nurses’/midwives’ perceived competency in spiritual care. Nurse Education Today, 36, 445-451.

McSherry W and Ross L (2015) Spiritual shortfall? Nursing Standard, 29, 35, 22-23. April 29 (Invited).
A personal column questioning the new NMC Code’s omission of ‘spiritual’ and inviting reader response.
McSherry W and Ross L (2015) Heed the evidence on place of spiritual needs in health care. Nursing Standard, 29, 38, May 20 (invited)

Ross L, van Leeuwen R, Baldacchino D, Giske T, McSherry W, Narayanasamy A, Downes C, Jarvis P, Schep-Akkerman A. (2014) Student nurses perceptions of spirituality and competence in delivering spiritual care: A European pilot study. Nurse Education Today, 34 (5), 697-702

Ross L and Austin J (2013) Spiritual needs and spiritual support preferences of people with end stage heart failure and their carers: implications for nurse managers. Journal of Nursing Management, 23, 1, 87-95

McSherry W and Ross L (2012). Nursing. In Cobb M, Rumbold B & Puchalski C (Eds) Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare. Oxford University Press, Oxford

RCN (January 2012) Spirituality and nursing care online resource. RCN, London.

RCN (March 2011) Spirituality and nursing care: a pocket guide. RCN, London.

McSherry W and Ross L (eds) (2010) Spirirtual assessment in healthcare practice. M&K Publishing, Keswick.

Ross LA (2006) Spiritual care in nursing: an overview of the research to date. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15 (7), 852-862.

Austin J, Williams WR, Ross L, Moseley L, Hutchinson S. (2005) Randomised controlled trial of cardiac rehabilitation in elderly patients with heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure, 7, 411-417. Winner of British Heart Foundation Excellence Award 2005.

Ross L A (1997) Nurses’ perceptions of spiritual care. Avebury, Aldershot.

Ross L A (1997) Elderly patients’ perceptions of their spiritual needs and care: a pilot study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 26, 710-715.

Ross L A (1994) Spiritual aspects of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, 439-447.


All Wales Spirituality, Health & Wellbeing Special Interest Group


  • British Association for the Study of Spirituality (Honorary Secretary & founding member)
  • On editorial board for ‘Journal for the Study of Spirituality’
  • International Spirituality in Nursing Research Network (founding member)
  • Reviewer for several journals
  • previously external examiner, University of Staffordshire and University of Malta
  • Invited speaker and seminar leader at numerous conferences/study days on spirituality and healthcare across the UK and abroad


RCN Task & Finish Group on Spirituality. The remit of the Group is to act upon the findings from the RCN spirituality survey (2010) and to develop an range of educational and practical resources to engage and inform RCN membership about the concepts of spirituality and the practise of spiritual care (see above publications).


Spirituality within nursing practice (mainly heart failure) and nurse education and cardiac rehabilitation.

Nursing practice (mainly heart failure)
• ‘Enhancing the holistic wellbeing of patients in NHS Wales through development of spiritual assessment processes’. Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship. PhD studentship January 2019-December 2021.
• ‘The Standards for Spiritual Care Services in the NHS in Wales 2010’: their use to date and development for the future.’ Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship MRes studentship. January 2019-December 2019.
• ‘Engagement with cardiac rehabilitation: working with hard to reach groups’. October 2017-September 2020
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship. PhD studentship.
• ‘Offering Spiritual Support to end stage heart failure patients: a feasibility study’ 2014-2016. Nevill Hall Thrombosis & General Research Fund
• Spiritual needs and spiritual support preferences of people with end stage heart failure and their carers. Funded by Nevill Hall Thrombosis & General Research Fund. 2008-2011.
• ‘Randomised controlled trial of cardiac rehabilitation versus standard care in elderly patients with heart failure’ 2000-2004. Nevill Hall Thrombosis & General Research Fund.

• Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education. ‘Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care (EPICC)’. December 2016-August 2019.
• Royal College of Nursing for ‘A multinational longitudinal investigation of student nurses’ and midwives’ perceptions of spirituality and competence in delivering spiritual care’ 2011-2016
• Developing spiritual care competencies for nurses and midwives. PhD studentship awarded in collaboration with University of Malta. 2009-2014

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