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New post to boost mental health nursing research

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A new academic position focusing on mental health nursing is to be based at the University of Essex, it has been announced.

Professor Fiona Nolan has been appointed as the first Florence Nightingale Foundation chair in clinical mental health nursing practice research. She is expected to take up the post on 1 August.

“This newly created chair is a great step forward for mental health nursing in the UK”

Fiona Nolan

The new professorship is the result of a new strategic partnership between the university, North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

The foundation supports a “virtual faculty” of clinical nursing professors around the UK. The Essex appointment is the only such professorship so far with an emphasis on mental health nursing.

Professor Nolan, who has an international reputation and experience of leading multi-professional research teams focusing on mental health care, said: “This newly created chair is a great step forward for mental health nursing in the UK.

University of Essex

New post to boost mental health nursing research

Fiona Nolan

“It offers the opportunity to truly combine clinical and academic practice and to develop the potential of the mental health nursing workforce to engage with research,” she said.

She added: “I am honoured to have been given this role and look forward to working with the university, trust and Florence Nightingale Foundation to progress the mental health research agenda.”

Professor Graham Underwood, the university’s executive dean of science and health, said her appointment was an “opportunity to grow research capacity and strengthen outputs that translate research directly into clinical care, support innovation and enhance the patient experience”.

Professor Elizabeth Robb, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, added: “We are really delighted to extend our network of FNF chairs through the appointment of Professor Nolan and pleased she will be focussing in on the vital area of mental health nursing.”

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