18 March 2022

City-wide project launched to increase research opportunities for nurses in Sheffield

A first-of-its-kind project has been launched by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to support Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHP) across the city to have more clinical academic development opportunities.

The NMAHP Clinical Academic Working Group (CAWG) aims to develop and sustain the NMAHP clinical academic research leaders of the future, offering them the potential to become independent researchers whilst remaining as frontline health care professionals.

The project has been developed based on an existing CAWG based at the University of Sheffield which oversees the strategic delivery of a clinical academic training programme for doctors and dentists across the city. The group oversees systems and processes to support doctors and dentists with award writing, support through their training and liaison with the NHS institutions for their clinical components of their awards and employment contracts.

Professor Diana Greenfield , Consultant Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has spearheaded the project as part of her NIHR 70 @ 70 Senior Nurse research leader secondment, which aims to strengthen the research voice and influence of nurses and midwives in health and social care settings.

Diana said: “As part of a scoping exercise for my NIHR 70 @ 70 secondment, I looked at the framework for the existing CAWG for doctors and dentist and the possibility of replicating this for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals too. Research in nursing has evolved enormously over the last 150 years beginning with Florence Nightingale who was a pioneer for using evidence based practice and innovation when caring for patients, but there is still a lot of work to be done to give nurses equal opportunity for clinical academic training.”

“There is clear evidence that research active organisations offer improved clinical outcomes and patient and staff experience, and increasing research capacity and capability is essential to advancing evidence-informed practice and innovation in healthcare. The project will allow for NMAHP’s to remain at the frontline and clinically active whilst completing their academic research, which means that patients in Sheffield will also benefit from being cared for by nurses who are striving for improvements in care.”

Supporting all NMAHP’s across the city, the new project is supported by all NHS Trusts in Sheffield as well as being endorsed by the Higher Education Institution Deans throughout to facilitate the joint clinical academic posts.

Rowan Waring, Community Nurse Team Leader at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently undertaking an introductory clinical research programme which explores the benefits of training nurses to be health coaches for people who live with long term neurological conditions. Rowan works as a frontline community nurse alongside completing her research project.

Rowan said: “The training opportunity is allowing me to learn research skills whilst also remaining as clinical nurse and still providing care. These research skills mean I will be better equipped to drive up standards of care for my patients. Patients benefit, my service benefits , my nursing team benefit and I love it– it’s an all-round win-win”


PHOTO: Rowan Waring, Community Nurse Team Leader at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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