Developing Nurse Led Research in England

This session focuses on the development of nurse led research in England. Increasing nurses’ engagement in research is acknowledged to improve patient health outcomes and organisational performance.1 Nurses are in an excellent position to identify the research questions that matter to the patient or service user, to the NHS, and to the profession. However, despite nurses being the largest sector of the NHS workforce, few are research active

The national target is to increase the nursing, midwifery and allied health profession (NMAHP) clinical-academic workforce to 1% by 2030,2 whilst also supporting development of the research delivery nursing workforce, to ensure a future workforce and a career infrastructure that facilitates nursing recruitment and retention to deliver world leading research and excellent patient care. Furthermore, the NHS Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England states that all health and care professionals working at advanced clinical practice (ACP) level should demonstrate clinical academic capabilities across four pillars: clinical practice, leadership and management, education, and research. Clinical research activity is also measured as part of The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of English hospitals.

This session will discuss the national approach to addressing this challenge, being led by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Health Education England and NHS England and Improvement.3 Using a case study of my own role as a NIHR 70@70 senior nurse, the process and impact of implementing a nursing research strategy in one hospital in England will also be presented.  


  1. Boaz A, Hanney S, Jones T, Soper B. Does the engagement of clinicians and organisations in research improve healthcare performance: A three-stage review. BMJ Open. 2015, 5(12). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009415.
  2. Westwood G, Richardson A, Latter S, Macleod Clark J, Fader M. Building clinical academic leadership capacity: sustainability through partnership. J Res Nurs. 2018, 23(4):346-357. doi:10.1177/1744987117748348.
  3. Henshall C, Kozlowska O, Walthall H, Heinen A, Smith R, Carding P. Interventions and strategies aimed at clinical academic pathway development for nurses in the United Kingdom: A systematised review of the literature. J Clin Nurs. 2021;30(11-12):1502-1518. doi:10.1111/jocn.15657.