In June the nurses from the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) will begin teaching for the first group of research ‘link nurses’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
Link roles are used widely throughout nursing to give individual nurses on ward/unit a deeper knowledge of one aspect of their area of practice so they can provide support to and maintain standards within their team.
This innovation will give nurses the opportunity to attend a motivating study day covering a comprehensive introduction to research nursing, introduction to the exciting work of the NIHR SRMRC, and teaching on relevant procedures for the studies run at the Centre relating to their areas of practice. In addition, they will be encouraged to spend some time with the multi-disciplinary team to see them in action! The role may assist their career progression and will count towards revalidation requirements for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
As the scope and number of studies, the NIHR SRMRC run continues to expand it is hoped that link nurses can help to integrate research into everyday patient care and practice. Increased visibility and availability of those with research skills and knowledge will aid appreciation and collaboration with the team which only stands to improve the way the Centre’s trials are set up and run, the quality of our data, the number of recruits we achieve and, most importantly, patient care.
It is hoped that the hard work of the NIHR SRMRC nurses will be drawn upon to create research link nurses in all other areas of practice throughout the hospital, meeting the Trust values to be collaborative, honest, accountable, innovative and respectful.