Campaign to promote research as a career sparks nursing students’ interest

Cancer Research UK nurse is visiting universities to raise awareness

Cancer Research UK nurse is visiting universities to raise awareness

Ben Hood told the RCNi conference about his promotional work. Picture: Barney Newman

A drive to promote research nursing among preregistration students has boosted interest in the field as a career.

Cancer Research UK senior nurse Ben Hood took a presentation to students at the University of Sunderland and Teesside University to promote the role of research nursing.


He asked 383 nursing students to complete 'before' and 'after' questionnaires. His findings, presented to RCNi's Cancer Nursing Practice conference in London on 1 May, included:

  • Before the presentation, 11% of students said they had considered a career in research nursing; the figure rose to 63% afterwards
  • Beforehand, 75% of students did not know what a research nurse role entailed. Afterwards, 99.7% said they understood
  • 92% of students had no awareness of local-level cancer research before Mr Hood's visit, rising to 98% awareness afterwards

Gap in education

Mr Hood said: ‘This project highlighted the sheer lack of understanding of what a research nurse was.

'This work illustrates a gap in the educational process in universities. Since doing this project we have been able to highlight this issue.

‘I also enrolled research nurses to share their experiences via video and offered students advice about their careers,’ he told the conference.

Mr Hood plans to deliver the programme at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Glasgow later this year.

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