Editorial

Clarion call for more mental health nurses to enter the research leadership programme

Only nine practitioners applied for the first programme in 2019

Only nine mental health nurse practitioners applied for the first programme in 2019

The 70@70 Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leadership Programme is a national three-year initiative, which began in May 2019 and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to celebrate the 70 th birthday of the NHS.

Originally 70 senior nurses and midwives in England were funded through the programme to promote and embed research into clinical practice.

  • RELATED:

Only nine mental health nurse practitioners applied for the first programme in 2019

Image illustrating call for more mental health nurses to enter the research leadership programme
Picture: iStock

The 70@70 Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leadership Programme is a national three-year initiative, which began in May 2019 and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Originally 70 senior nurses and midwives in England were funded through the programme to promote and embed research into clinical practice.

Representation of nurses and midwives as research leaders in the NHS and globally is inversely proportionate to their numbers as the largest professional group in the healthcare workforce, a situation that is unlikely to change without direct initiatives such as this programme.

70@70 fellows are funded two days a week to hone their research leadership skills, provide mentorship for colleagues, and work with their employing organisations to develop tangible career pathways which incorporate research and clinical activity.

Mental health nurses under-represented in research leadership roles

The initial cohort of 70 has reduced to 63 of which only nine are mental health nurses. The seven who left pursued other career opportunities.

Support for the group nationally is provided in geographic groupings by five clinical academic professors of nursing with the mental health cohort receiving mentorship specifically relating to their clinical specialism.

‘We can build a network of mental health nurses who are not only research-minded, but research active’

The group of nine are united in their aims to strengthen the research voice of mental health nurses, to increase capacity and capability of nurses to lead mental health research and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

It is vital that the 70@70 programme demonstrates a positive impact to strengthen the case for future programmes which are necessary to enable nurses to take their place as skilled clinical academic research leaders.

This is an appeal to our mental health nurse colleagues nationally to seriously consider applying for this programme if it is repeated by the NIHR, so we can build a network of mental health nurses who are not only research minded but research active.

Find out more

National Institute for Health Research – 70@70 NIHR Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leader Programme


About the author

Anita Green is an associate director of nurse education, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) 70@70 mental health senior nurse cohort

Anita Green is an associate director of nurse education, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) 70@70 mental health senior nurse cohort.

She is also a NIHR senior nurse and a midwife research leader

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