Karen obtained a BNurs degree from Manchester and a PhD in Social Science and Nursing from the University of Edinburgh.
She is the QNI Professor of Community Nursing and Head of the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, Manchester. Her research is in the area of community nursing and palliative care. Karen is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded a fellowship of the QNI in 2003.
In 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Lund Sweden and in 2011 an Honorary DSc from University of Alberta Canada. She has reviewed on a wide range of national and International research committees including MRC Health Services and Public Health Research Board and three RAE/REF Panels and equivalent panels in New Zealand (PBRF).
Karen is a Non-Executive Director of Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. In addition she edits the Journal Health and Social Care in the Community published by Wiley/Blackwell Publishing. She has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong and University of Auckland, New Zealand.