College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare

Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu

Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, DBE, CBE, FRCN, FQNI, PhDElizabeth Anionwu

Elizabeth is the Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London. 

Elizabeth is a qualified nurse and health visitor tutor and has held senior executive roles at various organisations. She was appointed as the first ever UK sickle cell/thalassaemia nurse counsellor and was Head of the Brent Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Information and Screening Centre from 1979 to 1990.

Elizabeth was a senior lecturer in Community Genetic Counselling at the Institute of Child Health at the University College London, and was the Dean of the School of Adult Nursing Studies and Professor of Nursing at University of West London.

Elizabeth established and was Head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice, again at University of West London. On her retirement, Elizabeth was honoured with the award of Emeritus Professor of Nursing.

Elizabeth has had articles published in many journals. She was the co-author of The Politics of Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia (2001),  Open University Press and A Short History of Mary Seacole: a resource for nurse and students (2005) RCN Publishing. 

Elizabeth was Vice-Chairperson of the successful Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal and is a Patron of the Sickle Cell Society and the Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association UK and Vice-President of Unite/Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA). She is also Honorary Advisor to the Chief Nursing Officer’s Black & Minority Ethnic Advisory Group.  

Elizabeth was awarded a Damehood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year's Honours List for services to nursing and the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal. Other awards include a CBE in 2001, a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing (FRCN) in 2004 and being made a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute (FQNI) in 2017. In 2010 she was inducted into the Nursing Times Nursing Hall of Fame for services to the Development of Nurse-led Services and in 2016 was presented with the Chief Nursing Officers' Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 'Nursing Times' Awards Ceremony.

In September 2016 Elizabeth published her memoir, 'Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union' (available in paperback or e-book via Amazon). Further details can be obtained via her website or Facebook page. Read the Nursing Standard's feature of Elizabeth and her life (October 2016).  

Read Elizabeth's Huffington Post blog on the background to the Mary Seacole statue that was unveiled in June 2016 at St Thomas' Hospital.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @EAnionwu or Facebook.

Elizabeth asks, 'What can Florence and Mary teach us about nursing today?'


Selected papers

Elizabeth with Dean Charmagne Barnes at GraduationStaring-Derks C, Staring J & Anionwu E.N. Mary Seacole: Global Nurse Extraordinaire. (2014) Journal of Advanced Nursing. Download.

Leary A & Anionwu E.N. (2014) Modeling the Complex Activity of Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Specialist Nurses in England.  Clinical Nurse Specialist. September/October 2014, Vol 28, Issue 5, pp 277-282. Abstract.

Anionwu E.N. (2013)  Scotching three myths about Mary Seacole.   British Journal of  Healthcare Assistants. October  2013 Vol 07 No 10. Download.

Anionwu E.N. (2012)  Mary Seacole: nursing care in many lands.   British Journal of Healthcare Assistants May 2012 Vol 06 No 5. Download.

Anionwu E. N. (2008) Guest editorial.  Sickle cell disease: quality of care needs to improve within the NHS.  Diversity in Health and Social Care. 15 Dec 2008. 5:237-9. Download.

Mulholland J, Anionwu E.N., Atkins R, Tappern M, and Franks PJ. (2008)  Diversity, attrition and transition into nursing.  Journal of Advanced Nursing. Vol 64, No 1, October 2008, pp 49-59(11). Download.

Full list of publications (PDF: 181KB)