Developing sustainable nursing and allied health professional research capacity
evidence and practice    

Developing sustainable nursing and allied health professional research capacity

Timothy Twelvetree Research fellow, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and University of Manchester, Manchester, England
Janet Suckley Consultant physiotherapist, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Nicola Booth Senior clinical research nurse/team lead, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Debbie Thomas Project manager, Northern Contraception, Sexual Health and HIV Service, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Penelope Stanford Senior lecturer, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, England

Background Research provides the evidence on which to base effective, safe clinical services. Engaging healthcare staff in research improves healthcare. However, clinical staff may not want to leave clinical practice to develop their research experience. Gaining postdoctoral research experience is a difficult step to make and opportunities are limited.

Aim To describe an approach to developing sustainable research capacity by supporting nurses and allied health professionals to develop their postdoctoral research skills while remaining in clinical practice.

Discussion An approach to developing nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals (NMAHPs)’s postdoctoral research skills was devised and implemented in an acute NHS hospital in England. This collaborative approach involved negotiating strategic support from senior managers and incorporated an action-learning framework to develop and fund a research project addressing a clinical priority.

Conclusion A ‘whole organisation’ approach is needed to develop postdoctoral nurse and NMAHP researchers that requires a reflexive model with strategic, organisational and individual support encompassing action learning and corporate buy-in from senior managers.

Implications for practice Taking such an approach can enable nurses to remain in practice while developing NMAHP-led research. This shows its usefulness to senior managers and enables nurses to have the knowledge and confidence to support others to develop their research skills.

Nurse Researcher. 27, 3, 48-54. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1618

Correspondence

timothy.twelvetree@manchester.ac.uk

Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared

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