Bennett WO, Bird JH, Burrows SA, Counter PR, Reddy VM Does academic output correlate with better mortality rates in NHS trusts in England?. Public Health.. 2012; 126:(Suppl 1)S40-S43

Boaz A, Hanney S, Jones T, Soper B Does the engagement of clinicians and organisations in research improve healthcare performance: a three-stage review. BMJ Open.. 2015; 5:(12)

Bramley L, Manning JC, Cooper J Engaging and developing front-line clinical nurses to drive care excellence: Evaluating the Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior Fellowship initiative. J Res Nurs.. 2018; 23:(8)678-689

Castro-Sánchez E, Black CA, Whitehouse C The NIHR 70@70 programme: transforming research. Br J Nurs.. 2020; 29:(4)240-241

de Lange W, Kars MC, Poslawsky IE, Schuurmans MJ, Hafsteinsdóttir TB Postdoctoral nurses' experiences with leadership and career development: a qualitative study. J Nurs Scholarsh.. 2019; 51:(6)689-698

Foster S A vision for nursing research. Br J Nurs.. 2022; 31:(9)

Fry M, Dombkins A Interventions to support and develop clinicianresearcher leadership in one health district. Int J Health Care Qual Assur.. 2017; 30:(6)528-538

Hafsteinsdóttir TB, van der Zwaag AM, Schuurmans MJ Leadership mentoring in nursing research, career development and scholarly productivity: A systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud.. 2017; 75:21-34

Hafsteinsdóttir TB, Schoonhoven L, Hamers J, Schuurmans MJ The Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research Program for postdoctoral nurses: a development paper. J Nurs Scholarsh.. 2020; 52:(4)435-445

Health Education England. Allied health professions' research and innovation strategy for England. 2022. https//

NHS England. Making Research Matter: Chief Nursing Officer for England's strategic plan for research. 2021. https//

Olive P, Maxton F, Bell CA Clinical Academic Research Internships: what works for nurses and the wider nursing, midwifery and allied health professional workforce. J Clin Nurs.. 2022; 31:(3-4)318-328

Ozdemir BA, Karthikesalingam A, Sinha S Research activity and the association with mortality. PLoS One.. 2015; 10:(2)

Sanders J Nursing and allied professional research at St Bartholomew's Hospital: an introduction. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing.. 2022; 17:(4)

Shepherd M, Endacott R, Quinn H Bridging the gap between research and clinical care: strategies to increase staff awareness and engagement in clinical research. J Res Nurs.. 2022; 27:(1-2)168-181

Smith H, Wright D, Morgan S, Dunleavey J, Moore M The ‘Research Spider’: a simple method of assessing research experience. Primary Health Care Research and Development.. 2002; 3:(3)139-140

Whitehouse CL, Copping J, Morris P An organisational approach to building research capacity among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) in clinical practice. International Practice Development Journal.. 2022; 12:(2)

Wolstenholme L, Cooke J, Manlove L A new vision for research. Community Practitioner.. 2022; 95:(2)44-47

Implementing a strategic plan for research

06 June 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 11


Effective integration of research within healthcare organisations is recognised to improve outcomes. A research strategy within a hospital Trust in South West England was revised, following the launch of a national Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) strategy that promotes research engagement and activity. The aim was to develop, implement and evaluate this revised strategic plan for research. High-level engagement within the organisation was established and previous initiatives evaluated. A 6-year plan with 2-year targets was defined and evaluated at year end. The four pillars of the CNO strategy were central to the revised strategy, underpinned by digital innovation. Evaluation of the earlier strategy indicated excellent engagement with the Chief Nurse Research Fellow initiative and the Clinical Academic Network. The ‘Embedding Research In Care’ (ERIC) unit was reconfigured to an ERIC model, which aided question generation and project development. Year one objectives were achieved within the revised plan. Implementing a research strategy within an organisation requires a cultural shift and a long-term vision is required with measurable objectives. The team demonstrated significant progress through high-level leadership, mentoring and cross-professional collaboration.

Research engagement and improvements in healthcare outcomes are positively associated (Boaz et al, 2015), and significant correlations between clinical research activity, academic output and reduced mortality are evident (Bennett et al, 2012; Ozdemir et al, 2015). For clinical academic research to flourish the development of staff who understand the importance of research and innovation and the role of an embedded research culture is key (Olive et al, 2022). A strategy for nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare professional (NMAHP) research had been developed in 2019 in a Trust in the South West of England. This was created as part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) 70@70 initiative to foster a culture of innovation and implement research activity within organisations (Castro-Sánchez et al, 2020). Targeted positive action was provided to support NMAHPs in realising their research potential, through three key projects: a Chief Nurse Research Fellow (CNRF) programme, an Embedding Research In Care (ERIC) unit and a Clinical Academic Network (CAN), designed to support at individual, team and department level (Shepherd et al, 2022). The CNRF programme is a secondment, 1 day every fortnight for 12 months, for clinical staff interested in research with funding allocated to their department to provide clinical cover in their absence. The CNRFs undertake training in research, learn more about research being conducted within the organisation and undertake a small-scale improvement project based on a clinical question from their area. The ERIC unit had a dedicated research facilitator to work with staff in the department to raise awareness of research and promote research activity. The CAN is a virtual network of staff within the organisation who are interested in and engaged with research at many different levels and provides a forum for peer support, providing feedback on research initiatives, sharing opportunities and providing mentoring and assistance with research funding applications (Shepherd et al, 2022).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content