Career advice

Why you should do a PhD: a nurse’s guide to entering the research world

Children’s cancer nurse Helen Pearson explains what motivates her academic work

Clinical academic nursing careers make patient care better, and more nurses need support to get involved

Research has a real impact on shaping patient care for the better, yet many nurses lack opportunities to become involved, says Helen Pearson , the first paediatric nurse at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to achieve a prestigious national research fellowship.

‘It’s only through doing research that we move forward and improve patients’ and families’ treatment and experience,’ says Ms Pearson, an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) for children and young people with solid tumours, who is studying for a PhD at the University of Southampton.

‘As a profession, nurses are caring, compassionate and want to make a difference to the lives of patients,’ she


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