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Interactive project aims to give nurses louder voice

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Nurses will be able to learn about research, receive free training and make contact with colleagues around the world after the launch of a new resource.

Global Research Nurses is a supportive network for nurses who are involved in research studies. It aims to give people in the nursing profession a louder and more influential voice when it comes to international health research.

Most studies concentrate on doctors’ experiences, but in many poorer countries the majority of health workers who see patients and encounter common problems are nurses. For example in Malawi, nurses outnumber doctors 18 to one, with more than 3,600 people for every nurse.

It is hoped that using the knowledge gained by nurses during their day-to-day dealings with public health issues will improve global research and help health workers take steps forward in tackling problems in the developing world, including diarrhoea among babies and children, and death during childbirth.

Paid for by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, Global Research Nurses is a free tool that can be used to find out about research, complete training online and communicate with colleagues in different areas who are carrying out similar work through an internet-based forum.

It is mainly targeted at those working in countries with a low or middle income. The project will also work towards seeing teaching research skills included in training for nurses.

Global Research Nurses will have a professional membership scheme to encourage nurses all over the world to receive professional recognition.

Bertha Mekisen, a nurse in Malawi said: “It’s exciting to be part of Global Research Nurses. In Malawi we are involved in studies addressing diseases like malaria and TB, nurses play a key role and we want to strengthen our role and improve the recognition of our contribution to tackling these health issues. Global Research Nurses will help me develop my health research skills and I am looking forward to interacting with other nurses around the world, so we can take action and use our collective voice to make lasting change.”

Project co-ordinator at Global Research Nurses Nicola McHugh said: “This new initiative, Global Research Nurses, has been greeted with great enthusiasm. Nurses do feel a bond with other nurses, they hold shared values and therefore appreciate the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with nurses across the world. The Global Research Nurses’ Network will offer resources and support; and will be shaped by the nurses who use it so that it provides what nurses want.”

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