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Call for nurses and midwives to shape the future of research

Nurse and midwife leaders in London and the South East are calling for healthcare professionals to help shape the future of medicine through research.

There are at least 7,469 research nurses and midwives working across the UK and Ireland, according to figures from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Cherylin Reinholtz, Research Matron for the NIHR Clinical Research Network South London, said:

"Research nurses and midwives make a difference to the lives of people in London, the South East and beyond. Trials, new drugs and treatments would not be possible without their work.

"Working in research gives people many exciting opportunities to grow and develop as part of a wider community, and you get to work closely with others to discover new treatments and medicines that benefit society. You also get to expand your knowledge and become specialists in the field of research.

"Being a research nurse or midwife is an amazing and fulfilling career. I urge other healthcare professionals to shape the future of health by becoming life changers!"

Research nurses and midwives' responsibilities include:

  • Inviting patients and healthy volunteers to research studies, including trials
  • Providing nursing care
  • Undertaking study procedures and developing new drugs, treatments, care pathways or regimens

Sandra Essien, Reproductive Health and Childbirth Research Champion at NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames and Interim R&D Manager at Whittington Health NHS Trust, said: "As a research midwife, you will be at the cutting edge of patient care in this field.

"It's an incredible experience to be able to do that; I would encourage any nurses thinking of doing so to get in touch with their trust's Research and Development department or visit the Shape The Future website."

Nurses and midwives can get involved by supporting research, finding out about research studies in their workplace and ensuring patients and members of the public are given opportunities to take part.

According to the NIHR, a total of 952,789 people took part in research in England in 2022-2023.

Claire Pegg, NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex Regional Chief Nurse Research Lead, said: "As a fellow nurse, I have seen first-hand the contribution that nurses and midwives have made in delivering, supporting and leading research. Nurses and midwives have so many different skill sets that can be utilised within research, which bring life-changing benefits to our patients."

Find out more about the support available for nurses and midwives to get involved in research on the NIHR's website.