A nurse smiling at a patient.

Experiences of recently qualified nurses

Project: Experiences of recently qualified nurses

What are we trying to do?

We’re trying to understand the experiences of recently qualified nurses in relation to research capacity building and knowledge mobilisation.

Why is it important?

The NHS is committed to reform centred around quality care and innovative practice; a fundamental element of this reform is the need for research capacity building within the workforce (Moore et al., 2012). In their Mandate, Health Education England (2014, p30) stated that they will ‘support clinical academic careers for health professionals and also seek to increase numbers of staff across all clinical and public health professions with a proper understanding of research and its role in improving health outcomes’. Research capacity building is viewed as a way of enhancing the ability of a professional group to conduct high-quality research (Finch, 2003).

Capacity building is centred on developing individual and organisational capabilities and focuses specifically on the ability to transfer newly acquired capabilities to clinical issues and challenges (Crisp et al, 2000). Research has shown that simply developing skills in collecting, preparing and disseminating research evidence is not sufficient for developing and transforming knowledge into clinical outputs and action (Dopson et al, 203; Fitzgerald et al, 2002). To address this issue, a key element of this study will focus on how knowledge and skills are utilised, maintained and updated as part of the organisation’s processes (Kislov et al., 2014).

The majority of literature typically concentrates on developing the skills needed to participate in and undertake research projects. However, the development of skills required to successfully utilise research in clinical practice and quality improvement has received less attention (Kislov et al., 2014; Bevan, 2010; Berta et al., 2010; Hamel and Schrecker, 2011; Nutley and Davies, 2000; Nutley et al., Walter and Davies, 2003; Nutley and Davies, 2001). To fully understand how research capacity is developed in organisations, it is important to understand how this process of learning and development can take place.  

How will we do it?

This project has been designed to understand the experiences of recently qualified (qualified for less than three years) nurses undertaking a Clinical Academic Pathways (CAP) programme, specifically examining how to enable nurses to build research capacity for the benefit of the individual, the organisation and patient care. Early career nurses recruited to the CAP programme will spend 60% of their time in clinical practice and 40% on the CAP programme. We will collect longitudinal qualitative data with nurses and their line managers to understand the impact of the programme on research capacity and knowledge mobilisation.

Who we are working with?

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

More information

For further information about this work please contact Dr Carianne Hunt.