Michelle Butler

Affiliate Professor

Michelle Butler qualified as a Registered General Nurse and a Registered Midwife before pursuing a BSc in Health Sciences and an MSc in Health Studies. In 2001 she obtained a PhD from the University of Nottingham with a study of competence and professional learning in midwifery. Michelle joined UBC in January 2014, having worked at University College Dublin, since 2001. She was Dean of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems and Head of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems from 2007 to 2010 and Subject Head (Midwifery) and Clinical/Academic Research Liaison with the National Maternity Hospital from 2010 to 2013. At UCD, Michelle was centrally involved in the development of midwifery and nursing programs and research and she was involved in the design and conduct of a range of studies in nursing, midwifery and health systems funded by the Health Research Board, the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery, the Women’s Health Council, the Crisis Pregnancy Agency and the National Council on Aging and Older people. As a member of the UCD Human Research Ethics Committee from 2002-2007, Michelle had a central role in the development of ethics approval processes at UCD. Her particular research expertise is in qualitative methods, evaluation research, case study, mixed methods, and systematic reviews. Michelle has also lectured on advanced research methods, midwifery research, and health policy and planning.


University of Nottingham, UK, 2001, PhD
Coventry University, UK, 1993, MSc Health Studies
Coventry University, UK, 1995, BSc Health Sciences
St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, UK, 1990, Registered Midwife
Dr. Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 1982, Registered General Nurse

Professional Affiliations

International Confederation of Midwives, Education Standing Committee, Chair of Section on Competencies and Standards
International Confederation of Midwives Research Advisory Network, Research Advisor and Peer Reviewer

Research Interests

Midwifery competence and learning, woman-centered care, health care outcomes, health policy, health services research, nurse and midwifery staffing.

Publications and Presentations


O’Sullivan, T. and Butler, M. (2002) Current Issues in Irish Health Management: A Comparative Review. Dublin: IPA.

Butler, M. (2002) Evaluation in the Irish Health Sector, CPMR Discussion Paper No. 21 Dublin: IPA.

Book Chapters:

Butler, M. (In Press due to be published September 2013) ‘Chapter 3: Identifying Research Problems – Reviewing Research Priorities’. In: Curtis, E., Drennan, J. (Eds) Quantitative Health Research: Issues and Methods. Open University Press.

Fox, P., Butler, M. & Coughlan, B; (2012) ‘The role of CAM: the different perspectives of patients, oncology professionals and CAM practitioners’ In: Arup Bhattacharya (eds). A Compendium of Essays on Alternative Therapy. Croatia: In Tech.

Butler, M. (2010) ‘Health Policy and Economics’ In: Brady A-M (eds). Leadership & Management in the Irish Health Service. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

Peer Reviewed Journals:

Naughton C, Drennan J, Hyde A, Allen D, O’Boyle K, Felle P, Butler M (2013) An evaluation of the appropriateness and safety of nurse and midwife prescribing in Ireland. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(7):1478–1488

Hyde, A. Drennan, J. Howlett, E. Carney, M. Butler, M. and Lohan M. (2012) ‘Parents’ constructions of the sexual self-presentation and sexual conduct of adolescents: discourses of gendering and protecting’. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(8):895-909

Fealy GM, Treacy P, Drennan J, Butler M, Naughton C, Kilkenny M, Johnson F (2012) ‘A profile of older emergency department attendees: Findings from an Irish study’. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(5):1003-13

Butler M, Collins R, Drennan J, Halligan P, O’Mathúna DP, Schultz TJ, Sheridan A, Vilis E.; (2011) ‘Hospital nurse staffing models and patient and staff-related outcomes’. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011 (7):1-70.

McNamara MS, Fealy GM, Casey M, Geraghty R, Johnson M, Halligan P, Treacy P, Butler M.; (2011) ‘Boundary matters: clinical leadership and the distinctive disciplinary contribution of nursing to multidisciplinary care’. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20 (23-24):3502-3512.

Drennan J., Naughton C., Allen D., Hyde A., O’Boyle K., Felle P., Treacy M., Butler M. ; (2011) ‘Patients’ level of satisfaction and self-reports of intention to comply following consultation with nurses and midwifes with prescriptive authority: a cross-sectional survey’. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 48 (7):808-817.

Hyde, A. Nee, J., Butler, M., Drennan, J. & Howlett, E (2011) ‘Women’s accounts of heterosexual experiences in the context of menopause’. International Journal of Sexual Health, 23:210-223.

Hyde, A., Nee, J. Howlett, E. Butler, M. & Drennan, J. (2011) ‘The ending of menstruation: perspectives and experiences of lesbian and heterosexual women at menopause’. Journal of Women and Aging, 23 (2):160-176.

Fealy GM, McNamara MS, Casey M, Geraghty R, Butler M, Halligan P, Treacy M, Johnson M. (2011) ‘Barriers to clinical leadership development: findings from a national survey’. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20 (13-14):2023-2032.

Hyde A, Nee J, Butler M, Drennan, J & Howlett E. (2011) ‘Preferred types of menopause service delivery: a qualitative study of menopausal women’s perceptions’. International Journal of Healthcare Delivery Reform Initiatives, 3 (1):1-12.

Naughton C, Drennan J, Alen D, Hyde A, O’Boyle K, Felle P, Butler M (2012) ‘A national evaluation of the safety of nurse and midwife prescribing in Ireland’. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(5):1003-13

Naughton C Drennan J, Treacy P, Fealy G, Kilkenny M, Johnson F, Butler M (2011) ”How different are older people discharged from Emergency Departments compared to those admitted to hospital?”. European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 18(1):19-24.

Hyde, A., Nee, J., Drennan, J., Butler, M., Howlett, E., (2010) Hormone therapy and the medical encounter: a qualitative analysis of women’s experiences. Menopause, 17(2):344-350.

Naughton C Drennan J, Treacy P, Fealy G, Kilkenny M, Johnson F, Butler M (2010) ‘The role of health and non-health-related factors in repeat emergency department visits in an elderly urban population’. Emergency Medicine Journal, 27 (9):683-687.

Hyde A, Nee J, Drennan J, Butler M, & Howlett, E. (2010) ‘Menopause narratives: the interplay of women’s embodied experiences with biomedical discourses’. Qualitative Health Research, 20 (6):805-815.

Fox P, Coughlan B, Butler M, Kelleher C (2010) ‘Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) use in Ireland: A secondary analysis of SLAN data’. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 18 :95-103.

Hyde, A. Carney, M, Drennan, J, Butler, M, Lohan, M, Howlett, E (2010) ‘The silent treatment: parents’ narratives of sexuality education with young people’. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 12 (4):359-371.

Butler MM, Meehan, TC., Kemple, M., Drennan, J., Treacy, M., Johnson, M. (2009) ‘Identifying research priorities for midwifery in Ireland’. Midwifery, 25:576-587.

Drennan, J. Butler, M. Treacy, P, Byrne, A. Fealy GM, Frazer, K. Irving, K (2008) ‘Support Networks of Older People Living in the Community’. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 3 (3):234-242.

Treacy, M., Butler, M., Byrne, A., Fealy, G., Frazer, K., Irving, K. (2008) ‘The experience of social and emotional loneliness among older people in Ireland’. Ageing & Society, 28 :1113-1132.

Butler M, Drennan J, Meehan T, Kemple M, Johnson M, Treacy M, (2007) ‘Nursing research priorities for Ireland’. Journal of nursing scholarship : an official publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing / Sigma Theta Tau, 4:298-305.

Butler MM, Treacy, M,Scott, A,Hyde, A,MacNeela, P,Irving, K,Byrne, A,Drennan, J (2006) ‘Towards a nursing minimum data set for Ireland: making Irish nursing visible’. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55:364-375.

Byrne AS; Drennan J; Treacy P; Scott PA; Hyde A; MacNeela P; Butler M; Irving K. (2006) ‘Developing the Irish Nursing Minimum Data Set: findings of the pilot study’. International Journal of Nursing Terminologies and Classification, 17 (1):23-24.

Hyde, A., Treacy, MP., Scott, AP., Mac Neela, P.,Butler, M., Drennan, J., Kate, I.,Byrne, A. (2006) ‘Social regulation, medicalisation and the nurse’s role: Insights from an analysis of nursing documentation’. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 43:735-744.

Hanrahan M, Hyde A, Treacy MP, Scott PA, Butler M, Drennan J, Irving K, Byrne A, MacNeela P, (2005) ‘Modes of rationality in nursing documentation: biology, biography and the ‘voice of nursing”. Nursing Inquiry, 2:66-77.

Butler, MM, Fraser DM, Murphy, RJLM (2008) ‘What are the essential competencies required of a midwife at the point of registration?’. Midwifery, 24 :260-269.

Drennan J, Meehan M, Kemple M, Johnson M, Treacy M, Butler M (2007) ‘Nursing Research Priorities for Ireland’. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 39 (4):298-305.

Irving, K., Treacy, M., Scott, A., Hyde, A., Butler, M., MacNeela, P., (2006) ‘Discursive practices in the documentation of patient assessments’. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53 (2):151-159.

Worth-Butler, M. Murphy, R.J.L., Fraser, D.M (1996) ‘Eliciting the views of experienced midwives about the assessment of competence in midwifery’. Midwifery, 12 (4):182-190.

Fraser, D., Murphy, R.J.L. and Worth-Butler, M. (1996) ‘Developing a model of competence in midwifery: the consumer’s perspective’. British Journal of Midwifery, 4 (11):576-580.

Worth-Butler, M., Murphy, R.J.L., Fraser, D.M. (1995) ‘Recognising Competence in Midwifery: The Need for a Definition’. British Journal of Midwifery, 3 (5):259-262.

Worth-Butler, M., Murphy, R.J.L., Fraser, D.M. (1994) ‘Towards a Definition of Competence in Midwifery’. Midwifery, 10 (4):225-231.

Other Journals:

Henry P, Mac Neela P, Clinton G, Scott A, Treacy P, Butler M, Hyde A, Morris R, Irving

K, Byrne A (2006) ‘Developing a data dictionary for the Irish nursing minimum dataset’ Studies in health technology and informatics 122 :510-513.

Worth-Butler, M (1995) ‘Exploring Relationships Between Ethnic Identity and Pregnancy

Outcome and Some of the Factors Involved’ Studies Inequality 3.

Conference Publications:

Butler MM, Brosnan M, Kington M, O’Brien D, Walsh M, Sheehy L, Gavigan O, Feeney P, Drennan J (2013) Evaluating midwifery-led antenatal care: using a program logic model to identify relevant outcomes. RCSI 32nd Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research & Education Conference. Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin. 20th- 21st February 2013.

Cornally P, Butler M, Murphy T, Rath A, Canty G (2012) Examining women’s views of care in the delivery ward. Nottingham International Conference for Education and Research in Midwifery. University of Nottingham, 7-8 September 2012.

Butler, M., R. Collins, J. Drennan, P. Halligan, D. P. O’Mathuna, T. J.Schultz, A. Sheridan, and E. Vilis. (2011) Hospital nurse staffing models and patient- and staff related outcomes: an epic EPOC systematic review. Joanna Briggs Institute International Convention, National Wine Centre, Adelaide7-9 November 2011.

Butler, M., Barry, T., Brosnan, M., Creedon, E., Drennan, J., Gavigan, O., Kington, M., Naughton, C., Mc Mahon, C (2011) Does changing the maternity staffing skill mix affect postnatal care? [Oral Presentation] ICM Triennial Conference, Durban, June 19th-23rd 2011.

Butler, M (2011) The Cochrane Fellowship Experience. [Oral presentation]16th Annual Cochrane Contributors Meeting, Europa Hotel, Belfast, 15th-16th March 2011

Butler, M. and Brosnan M. (2011) Developing a Joint Research Agenda: Building Midwifery Clinical/Academic Partnerships. [Keynote Presentation] Midwives: Leaders or Managers? Closing the Loop, Alexander Hotel, Dublin, 25th February 2011.

Butler MM, Atkinson S, Brady V, Calnan A, Dunlea M, Manning C (2008) Assessing Midwifery Competence: Constructing Valid Indicators of Competence [Oral presentation] NET/NEP 2nd International Conference. Crown Plaza Hotel, Dublin

Butler MM, Treacy M, Scott A, Hyde A, MacNeela, P, Drennan J, Irving K, Byrne A, Corbally M, Henry P, Morris R, Clinton G, Sheerin F, Coughlan B (2006) Developing a Nursing Minimum Data Set for Ireland [Oral presentation] Developing Research in Nursing, Social Care Education and Multisectoral Cooperation, 3rd International Summer School University of Maribor, Slovenia,

Butler MM, Meehan T, Kemple M, Drennan J, Treacy M, Johnson M (2006) Identifying Midwifery Research Priorities for Ireland [Oral presentation] Transforming Healthcare Through Research: 7th International Research Conference Dublin, School of Nursing & Midwifery Studies, University of Dublin, Trinity College,

Butler MM (2005) What are the Essential Competencies Required of a Midwife at the Point of Registration? [Oral presentation] ICM triennial conference Brisbane, 23-JUL-05 – 27-JUL-05

Butler MM, Treacy M, Byrne A, Drennan J, Fealy G, Frazer K, Irving K (2005) Effective Interventions to Reduce Loneliness in Older People in Ireland: The Views of Providers and Planners [Oral presentation] 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference University of Dublin, Trinity College,

Butler MM, Treacy MP, Scott AP, Hyde A, Mac Neela P, Drennan J, Irving K, Byrne A (2005) The Nurse as the Vital Link in Patient Care: Exploring General Nurses’ Views of their Contribution to Patient Care [Oral presentation] 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference Dublin School of Nursing & Midwifery Studies University of Dublin, Trinity College,

Butler MM, Treacy M, Scott A, Hyde A, MacNeela, P, Drennan J, Irving K, Byrne A, Corbally M, Henry P, Morris R, Clinton G, Sheerin F, Coughlan B (2005) Developing a Nursing Minimum Data Set for Ireland [Oral presentation] Dublin Health Informatics Society of Ireland Dublin,

Butler MM, Treacy MP, Scott A, Byrne A, Drennan J, Hyde A, Irving K, MacNeela P (2005) Identifying Nursing-Sensitive Outcome Indicators for a Nursing Minimum Data Set in Ireland [Oral presentation] 2nd Ministry Of Health International Nursing Conference Singapore, Hyde A. Treacy, M.P. Scott, A., Mac Neela, P., Butler, M.M., Drennan, J. Irving, K. & Byrne, A. (2005) Nursing documentation: dominant and suppressed discourses within nursing records Sigma Theta Tau International, 38th Biennial Convention Indiana Convention Centre & RCA Dome, Indianapolis,

Drennan J., Byrne A., Treacy P., Scott PA., Hyde A., MacNeela P., Irving K., Butler M., Morris R., Corbally M., Henry P. (2005) The Development of a Nursing Minimum Data Set In Ireland: The use of the Delphi Technique with General Nurses Acendio Annual International Conference

Hyde A. Treacy, M.P. Scott, A., Mac Neela, P., Butler, M.M., Drennan, J. Irving, K. & Byrne, A. (2005) Making nursing visible: challenges in revealing psychosocial aspects of care in nursing documentation 9th International Nursing Research Conference, Ministerio de Sanidada y Consumo, IX Encuentro de Investigacion en Enfermeria El Prado, Madrid.

Hyde, A., Treacy, M., Scott, P.A., Butler, M., Drennan, J., Irving, K., & MacNeela, P. (2004) Representations of modes of rationality and the tensions of modernity in nursing documentation: a sociological analysis RCN International Nursing Research Conference Robinson College, University of Cambridge, Corbally, M., Hanrahan, M, Scott, P.A., MacNeela, P., Treacy, M., Butler, M, Drennan, J., Hyde, A., & Irving, K. (2004) Mental health nurses’ records: overview of an analysis RCN International Nursing Research Conference Robinson College, University of Cambridge.