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Study aims to tell ‘real story of nursing’

Research will cover gender, working conditions and what attracts people to nursing

Research will cover gender, working conditions and what attracts people to nursing


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Gender, working conditions and pay will be examined as part of a study to ‘tell the real story of nursing’.

The study, commissioned by the RCN, is being undertaken by Oxford Brookes University and will build on research carried out by the college highlighting stress placed on nurses.

University research fellow Kate Clayton-Hathway said the study will include results from the RCN’s upcoming annual employment survey, which will feature new questions.

An attractive profession

‘The annual survey, being run early next year, will have enhanced questions which should inform our research, such as addressing whether there are certain things that make nursing an attractive profession, like flexible or shift working,’ she said.

‘We want to get a range of different perspectives on how the profession has changed over recent years and what the future might look like.’

Dr Clayton-Hathway said perceptions of gender in nursing would also be explored: ‘Feminised professions do tend to be less well-rewarded and roles can be quite stereotyped when in reality they are very technical and complex.’

Behind the headlines

RCN employment relations adviser Rachael McIlroy said the research would help explore the issue of gender and ethnicity pay gaps in the nursing workforce. ‘This research will help us to get beyond the statistics and tell the real story in nursing,’ she said.

The researchers aim to report back in April next year and present their findings at RCN congress in Liverpool next May.

The RCN’s employment survey will be sent to members on 10 January and will be open until 7 February.


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