Clinical academic research internships for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals: a qualitative evaluation
evidence and practice    

Clinical academic research internships for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals: a qualitative evaluation

Colette Miller Research Fellow, School of Nursing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England
Julie Cook Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England
Josephine Mary Evelyn Gibson Reader in Health Services Research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England
Caroline Leigh Watkins Professor of Stroke and Older People’s Care, faculty director of research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England
Stephanie P Jones Senior Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of the rationale for the development of clinical academic internships for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals

  • To understand the aids and barriers to engagement in such opportunities

  • To inform the design of future clinical academic career development programmes

Background Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals are integral to research, yet rarely engage simultaneously in research and clinical practice. Clinical academic internships offer a route for accessing academic research training.

Aim To determine facilitators and barriers to nurses’ participation and engagement in research internships, and to suggest improvements for future programmes.

Discussion The experiences of ten health professional research interns were explored, using a method based on a synthesis between grounded theory and content analysis. Four categories emerged: integrating clinical and research aspirations; support – or lack of it; the hidden curriculum; and the legacy effect. Respondents identified facilitators and barriers to engagement in these categories, including unforeseen challenges.

Conclusion Formal support is necessary but is insufficient for fostering engagement and maximising benefits. Participation must be supported by colleagues and enabled by institutional structures. The potential effects of internships on engagement with research is considerable but requires collaboration between all stakeholders.

Implications for practice Deeper institutional engagement is needed so that internship opportunities are fully supported by all colleagues and practically enabled by institutional structures. Future schemes should attempt to promote opportunities to collaborate through group projects to reduce researchers’ isolation.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1724

Peer review

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

Correspondence

cmiller5@uclan.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Miller C, Cook J, Gibson J et al (2020) Clinical academic research internships for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals: a qualitative evaluation. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1724

Published online: 03 September 2020

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Quaterly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
Subscribe
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or