A former UK Ministry of Defence Professor of Nursing has joined the University of Chester’s Faculty of Health and Social Care.

Retired Colonel Alan Finnegan FRCN, from Vicars Cross, has been appointed Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health within the Department of Public Health and Wellbeing.

He served with the British Army from 1987 and lives in Chester with his wife Sara and daughters. Sara’s is a senior practice nurse in the Heath Lane Primary Healthcare Centre.

Consulltant and advisor

Alan has deployed to Iraq, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Afghanistan. He has served as a nurse consultant in military mental health and as the MoD specialist nursing advisor in mental health.

Alan said: “I am extremely honoured to have been given this opportunity of a professorial appointment within the University of Chester. Having lived in Chester for 14 years, the prospect of working at my local university was extremely appealing.

“Having met the faculty staff it was clear that this is where I wanted to work, and I am totally committed to assisting students and fellow colleagues in promoting the academic, research and international profile of this outstanding university.”


In his new role at the university, Alan will contribute to the university’s Centre for Research and Innovation in Veteran Wellbeing which provides a focus for academic innovation and high quality research for the military veteran community.

The intent is that these activities will have a positive impact on veterans’ health and healthcare at regional level and beyond and staff will seek to form local, national and international collaborations with academic partners, businesses, veterans’ associations, the voluntary sector and charitable organisations.

Alan was pivotal to the establishment of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Defence Forum, and then served as chairman of the forum from 2004 until 2011. He is a committee member of the RCN International Committee, chairman of the British Army Nursing Research Professoriate and courtesy professor of nursing at the University of South Florida.

Alan is a committee member of the Nurse Education Today Editorial Board. His awards include: Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in 2014; Professional Nurse of the Year – Mental Health Award 1998; British Journal of Nursing – Nurse of the Year Award (Defence Nursing Category); RCN Research Society Akinsanya Award for Excellence in Doctrinal Research Studies – Runner Up in 2012.

Hear Professor Finnegan speak

Alan will explore mental health issues affecting young men, particularly in the military, at a free public lecture at the University of Chester’s Warrington Campus on Tuesday, February 23.

Professor Finnegan’s talk, Supporting Young Men with Depression, will focus on both military and young men’s mental health more generally and give an opportunity to learn more about his work within this key area of health and social care.

To book on to this talk click here: Refreshments will be available from 6pm for a 6.30pm start.