Nurses will be able to take a specialist career pathway in research from early next year, under Department of Health plans.
Universities are being encouraged to tender to offer master’s degree programmes in nurse research, with adverts targeted at those who may wish to join the first courses going out in January and February, said newly appointed deputy chief nursing officer David Foster.
He said the aim was that individuals who completed a master’s degree would build up their research credentials to PhD and beyond to become principal investigators.
‘It’s really about getting nurses, midwives and allied health professionals into research careers in a way that someone from my generation thought about management or education – it’s a third strand,’ he told Nursing Times.
‘I think that will be a hugely beneficial development and we are about to test the water to see how interested individuals will be,’ Mr Foster said.
‘I think, in the first instance, we will attract quite experienced nurses who are specialists or consultants or those who have got a particular interest.
‘Once we’re established, in the next year or two, I think we will see the newly registered thinking: “Yeah, that’s the route for me.”’