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Case study: Making a difference for the future - Sandra's story

International Nurses Day - 12 May

Sandra Prew, Assistant Research Delivery Manager at the CRN West Midlands, works to support the development of research opportunities across a variety of settings including care homes, hospices and schools.

She has been in nursing for 30 years and working in research for the last 15 years. Her first research post was for eight months as a gastroenterology Research Nurse. She said: "It was a good place to start, as having an endoscopy background I had a lot of condition knowledge, although at that point I was not sure research would be for me, but looking back I can't imagine doing anything different.

"I have supported research in palliative care and then later across care homes before this role which helps all settings outside of traditional NHS. I would say I use my nursing skills every day, in my personal life and in work - especially problem solving, and advocating for people whose voices are not always heard.

"I also see the work I support making a difference for the people we care for in the future, rather than just dealing with the here and now. I am passionate about equity of access for people to take part in research, regardless of where they live, their mental capacity or the conditions they live with.

"A great research nurse pays attention to detail and has a passion to make a difference to the people we meet. We are great at troubleshooting and problem solving. We are all about choices and supporting access to research opportunities.

Sandra addded: "Research is about everyday decisions and choices for everyday people; sometimes that is about how you are looked after and sometimes it's about something clinical that can affect your care or outcomes, but all of it is about giving you a choice and making a difference for tomorrow."