CRN strategy Available now

Newly published Clinical Research Nursing Strategy shows research nurses as ‘visible leaders’

Date: 04 October 2017

A strategy setting out the direction of travel for Clinical Research Nurses has been released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).

The strategy published today, sets out the next set of strategic goals for 2017-2020.

NIHR funded clinical research nurses (CRNs), midwives and specialist community public health nurses all have a vital role in the delivery of quality clinical research care. The CRN strategy will ensure the CRN workforce meet the expectations of patients in the NHS and are seen as visible leaders.

Dr Susan Hamer, NIHR CRN Director of Nursing, Learning and Organisational Development led on the development of the strategy, which has a focus on four innovative areas. Susan comments:

I am excited to be launching our new NIHR Clinical Research Nurse (CRN) Strategy, I have had the privilege of watching the rapid development of this field of practice in the last 5 years and I have seen that much has changed in the context of clinical research. The CRN workforce must remain highly agile and responsive and contribute actively to the high skill based required in the life sciences sector. As we feel the impact of a new era of science and its possibilities for new treatments, cures and supportive therapies then CRN's are in a key leadership role to ensure that both clinical research and care are carried out to the highest standards. This strategy will enable us to focus on key enablers to help CRN's achieve their individual potential as practitioners.”

The strategy reflects the NIHR 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”.

The strategy sets out four strategic goals:

  • Creating a clinical research culture that is patient and public focused
  • Promoting innovation in research delivery practice to include the use of digital technologies to improve data quality and enable novel ways of using resources
  • Improving awareness and understanding of the specialty of clinical research nursing and its contribution and impact
  • Developing leaders to share best clinical research nursing practice locally, nationally and internationally

Clare Meachin and Chris Oxnard are both experienced Clinical Research Nurses who have worked closely with Dr Susan Hamer to shape the strategy. Clare is Deputy Chief Operating Officer from CRN South London and provides an insight into what the strategy means in an exclusive thought piece for the Nursing Times. Clare says:

“Working with colleagues we need to become a group of dynamic nurses and leaders who are approachable and open, positive role models, clinically knowledgeable and competent and empowered decision makers.The strategy enables Clinical Research Nurses to be visible leaders forging new paths and leading clinical care to greater quality”

View Clare’s Nursing Times thought piece here

The 2017-2020 Clinical Research Nurse strategy has been summarised in a poster and two page summary format. View and download the strategy from the NIHR Clinical Research Nurse web pages.

Share your views about the latest strategy on twitter using #crnurse


  • Summary:
    A strategy setting out the direction of travel for Clinical Research Nurses has been released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN). The strategy sets out the next set of strategic goals, including for South London, for 2017-2020.
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