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Developing our Clinical Research Nursing Strategy


Published: 16 May 2019

Version: 1.0 - June 2019

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The NIHR has a mission to “provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public”.

To achieve this mission the NIHR has a stated aim of ensuring it attracts, develops and retains the best research professionals to conduct people based research. Core to the achievement of this goal is the realisation of the potential of the NIHR funded clinical research nurses (CRNs), midwives and specialist community public health nurses and a clear recognition of the vital role they have in the delivery of quality clinical research care.

Developing a new strategy

Much has been achieved since the launch of our original strategy in 2013, CRN’s have a higher professional profile; they meet annually and have been recognised in a wide variety of events and awards. They actively network best practice and link with colleagues internationally, their use of social media is impressive and connects individuals to vibrant and growing networks.

However the health research landscape is characterised by rapid change and multiple developments, in science, technology and methodology. The interesting political and policy landscape has also been a major feature in contributing to a changed context. With these factors in mind we used the opportunity of International Nurses Day (IND) 2017 to work with our community to debate and refresh our strategy for nursing.

We asked all participants, over 150, to consider the impact of the previous strategy and the things they would most wish to prioritise to support the development of a strong research practitioner workforce going forward. They were asked to view this from an individual, community and systems perspective. The comments were collated and analysed and presented back to a small group of clinical research nurses and midwives who volunteered to spend a day refining our strategy for 2017/2020.

So it is with pleasure we set out our next set of strategic goals to ensure this momentum is maintained and our response accelerates to meet the expectations of the society we serve.

Four strategic goals

The 2017-2020 NIHR Clinical Research Nurse Strategy sets out the next set of strategic goals to ensure we meet the expectations of the society we serve.

Promoting the strategy

Clearly no strategy can be actioned without a team of enthusiastic individuals and a plan of action. To support awareness raising and implementation we are planning to carry out a range of activities listed below.


• Nursing Times Blog (September)

• Nursing Times launch (October)

• NHSI / regional events x4

• Nursing Times Awards Nominee Celebration Day

• International Nurses Day (IND) 2018

• International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) 2018

• Advanced Leadership Programme alumni event (2017 cohort)

• International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN) conference 2018 and study visits

Being considered:

• Regionally led action groups to debate strategy and action using ALP alumni

• Presentation to LCRN senior leaders and NSLs

• Include in response to Communication and Digital strategies (possible funding request linked to projects)

If you would like to be involved in any of these activities please contact Susan Hamer via email.

A summary of the Clinical Research Nurse Strategy is available in poster and flyer format.