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CRN Greater Manchester Core Team blog series: Director of Nursing

Janette Blog

A bit of background about myself for those of you who don’t know me as well as others do!

I have worked at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) for 29 years and within research for 24 years.

I qualified in 1994 as a registered nurse and started my nursing career at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). In 1999 I undertook my first clinical research nurse role, and after 12 years as a senior clinical research nurse and completing a Master’s Degree in clinical research at The University of Manchester - which provided me with the opportunity to undertake my own research - I then became the Matron for Research and Innovation (R and I) at MFT.

In 2017 I became responsible for all the clinical research delivery staff at MFT when I was appointed Lead Nurse for R&I and, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020, I was appointed Head of Nursing for R and I.

In March 2022, I had the opportunity to undertake a seven-month secondment as Deputy Director of Nursing for Wythenshawe Hospital, Trafford General Hospital, Withington Hospital and Altrincham Hospital. This provided me with a breadth of understanding of the operational functions of four hospitals across MFT. It equipped me on my return to R&I, now appointed to Assistant Chief Nurse for R and I, to understand greater how we need to embed research, engage with colleagues, and create a passion in others for delivering world-class research that has an impact at the patients’ bedside.

I am the professional lead focusing on the quality of the patient experience through the delivery of high-quality safe and effective clinical research nursing and midwifery care. I am supported by a team of senior nurses and midwives to provide the management, accountability, education and workforce development for clinical research nurses, research midwives and clinical research practitioners working across R and I and our hosted NIHR infrastructures at MFT, including the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN).

In April 2023, I was delighted to take on the additional role of Director of Nursing for CRN Greater Manchester (GM) and CRN North West Coast (NWC).

Reflecting on the first six months.

I’m almost six months into my role and within this time I have been met with a warm welcome from colleagues across the CRN in GM and NWC. I have had the privilege to meet new colleagues and be reacquainted with others from partner organisations.

My role focuses on supporting our partner organisations to strengthen the support and leadership for NIHR-funded nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working across health and care sectors, to facilitate the advancement of these professions across the region and within the national NIHR infrastructure.

There is a desire from partner organisations to work collaboratively across the region, along with a readiness to create and share standard practices for many of the aspects relating to the clinical research delivery workforce. It’s a very exciting time for our region and working in partnership can only strengthen our position when attracting research to the North West.

I look forward to the coming months when our collective, collaborative work will commence.

Janette Dunkerley

Director of Nursing for CRN Greater Manchester and CRN North West Coast

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.