Academic writing retreats for nurses and allied health professionals: developing engagement, dissemination and collaboration opportunities
Evidence and practice    

Academic writing retreats for nurses and allied health professionals: developing engagement, dissemination and collaboration opportunities

Catherine Henshall Reader in nursing, Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford, England
Tamara Lewin Training coordinator, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, England

Why you should read this article
  • To appreciate the benefits of academic writing retreats for nurses and allied health professionals

  • To gain practical strategies for promoting productive and effective writing retreats in a range of settings

  • To understand what effects engaging in writing about research can generate

Background COVID-19 raised the profile of nursing globally, with widespread recognition of nurses’ valuable roles during the pandemic. There is a unique opportunity to capitalise on this momentum to support nurses to become more engaged in and disseminate their research widely. One way to enable this is to develop academic writing retreats for nurses.

Aim To report on the development of academic writing retreats to engage nurses in research.

Discussion Four writing retreats were set up in the south of England between September 2019 and April 2021. Two were delivered face to face on hospital premises and two online. The retreats provided uninterrupted time for writing an academic publication, mentorship, peer support networks, and question and answer sessions. The retreats were attended by 42 health professionals, with more than 25 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. The retreats have enabled learning communities to develop, fostering long-term networking opportunities.

Conclusion Academic writing retreats for nurses have widespread benefits, providing nurses with uninterrupted time and space to focus on writing high-quality publications and creating networking opportunities through peer support and mentorship channels.

Implications for practice Academic writing retreats are a simple, yet effective way to get nurses to engage in research by writing about their own spheres of practice.

Nurse Researcher. 30, 3, 19-27. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1846


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared


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