Nursing and midwifery

Pre-registration

Pre-registration programmes in both Nursing and Midwifery mostly lead to graduate level qualification, although increasingly programmes are available as either a full 4-year Masters or 2-year fast track Masters (based on a related or unrelated first degree). Pre-registration programmes are tightly regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and require 2300 hours of placement and 2300 theory hours during a three-year programme. This requirement makes for a challenging programme, with extended 45-week academic years and multiple assessments.

While direct experience of ClinEdR may be limited, an understanding of research, evidence-based practice and critical appraisal are NMC requirements for all programmes, and the Code, to which all qualified Nurses and Midwives must adhere.

Qualified

Once qualified, both nurses and midwives undertake a period of preceptorship whilst being employed as a Staff Nurse. Clinical nursing and midwifery roles are fast paced, they offer opportunities for a wide range of experience but they also encourage qualified staff to make decisions to specialise in a specific clinical area.

Because of this fast pace, decisions to move to academia or to consider engaging in funded research tend to be made at a slightly later stage in a nurse or midwife's career. Clinical education is integral to the roles of nurses and midwives at all levels; all are required to be supervisors of students, educators of patients and have patient outcomes as their focus.

Nurses and midwives are eligible to apply for the NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) programme, which offers research training opportunities, and can also apply for a number of other fellowships.

There are currently limited opportunities for nurses and midwives to enter academia while maintaining a clinical role. As such, a move into research can require what is effectively a complete career change. However, this is changing, with an increase in joint appointments and combined clinical/academic roles, although these remain limited. The Incubator wholly supports a change in culture which will provide nurses and midwives with more opportunities to engage in ClinEdR.