Why undertake a clinical academic internship? A novice researcher’s reflection
Evidence and practice    

Why undertake a clinical academic internship? A novice researcher’s reflection

Tracey Long Community practice educator, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster, England

Background This article offers a reflection by a novice researcher undertaking an integrated clinical academic internship with the National Institute for Health Research and Health Education England.

Aim To offer insight into research internships, and demonstrate the benefits and challenges encountered.

Discussion Exposure to research while remaining in clinical practice gives nurses the opportunity to increase their knowledge, develop research skills and network. Associated challenges include feeling like a novice, balancing the demands of clinical practice and research, and the development of new skills.

Conclusion Internship programmes can create health systems in which practitioners also undertake research but there are associated challenges.

Implications for practice Research internships offer nurses insight and exposure to a world of research that may previously have been invisible to them; they can act as a platform for nurses to develop clinical academic careers.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1664

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

Long T (2019) Why undertake a clinical academic internship? A novice researcher’s reflection. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1664


The author would like to acknowledge the Children’s Care Group, Rotherham Doncaster South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Laura Serrant and academics at Sheffield Hallam University, Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research

Published online: 12 December 2019

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

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