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New NIHR Senior Research Leader Programme for nurses and midwives

Nurse speaks to patient

Published: 25 August 2022

The NIHR is launching a new Senior Research Leader Programme for nurses and midwives. It will build on the success of the 70@70 Senior Nurse and Midwife Leaders programme which concluded in March this year.

The 70@70 programme implemented over 300 different research initiatives and reached at least 3000 nurses and midwives. It increased the support, delivery and leadership of research by nurses and midwives across different parts of the health and care delivery system. It resulted in closer working between clinical academics, and lead research delivery nurses and midwives. And it helped to meet the nursing and midwifery research leadership needs of individual NHS organisations.

The aim of the new three-year programme is to realise the untapped potential of many more senior nurses and midwives. The NIHR wants to empower them to further increase research capacity and capability and support their development as future research leaders.

Dr Catherine Henshall, NIHR Associate Director of Nursing and Senior Research Leader Programme Director, said: “Research-active organisations achieve better clinical outcomes for patients and are more likely to retain their workforce. But, the professions with the most contact with patients and the public – nurses and midwives – have had limited opportunity to influence the research culture in their organisations.

“The 70@70 programme was set up to give nurses and midwives the opportunity to help shape the research culture within their organisations and at a national level. Senior nurses and midwives were given the time to spend two days a week working on research capacity and capability building initiatives, utilising their expertise and applying their knowledge and skills to support and develop other nurses and midwives within their organisations.

“Our new programme will build on its success. It will place nurses and midwives at the forefront of healthcare research, raising their profile and affirming their sustained value and contribution to the wider research community.”

Applications open to senior nurse and midwife research leaders across the country today and will close at 1pm on October 24th, ready for the new programme to begin in April next year. It will fund each senior research leader to be seconded for three years at 0.4 of whole time equivalent within a health or social care setting.

NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leader Claire Whitehouse said: “The impact of the funding and dedicated time from the 70@70 Programme has helped to build capacity and capability from delivering and supporting research through to co-designing, developing and leading our own. The networking, support, camaraderie and opportunity to forge progress for our professions has been something unique within this programme.”

The NIHR is calling on senior nurses and midwives across England to apply and build on their leadership skills in research. The Senior Research Leader Programme: Nursing and Midwifery will ensure applicants have dedicated time to share their learnings across organisations and the wider NHS. The first cohort of the programme will run from April 2023 until March 2026. The programme will run on an annual basis, with 15 nurses and midwives recruited to it every year. To find out more, join an NIHR webinar on September 23 or October 5.

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