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COVID-19 and student nurses: new research into educational experience

COVID-19 and student nurses

COVID-19 – new research examines student nurses’ educational experiences

  • Study will assess how education prepared student nurses for clinical placement during pandemic
  • Major grant of £618,324 brings together UK-wide expert team

A UK-wide study, Cov-ed Nurse, led by the Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery at Oxford Brookes University will investigate the experiences of student nurses on placement in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will focus on the impact of student nurse education before and during the pandemic, and has received a substantial research grant of £618,324 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.

The research team is now recruiting a sample of student nurses from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Participants will complete a short survey and record a series of audio diaries detailing their day to day experiences. The research team will then conduct in-depth interviews with each student nurse. Student nurses who would like to take part in the study should visit the project website to register their interest.

Student nurses a vital part of the NHS response

Dr Mary Malone, Director of the Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery at Oxford Brookes University and Principal Investigator said: “Student nurses are a vital part of the NHS response to this pandemic. It’s essential we understand more about how effective their educational experiences were in preparing them for this huge challenge. Learning how student nurses can be best supported and prepared for practice must make a difference to how teaching is delivered in the future.”

Professor Dame Anne Marie Rafferty, President of the Royal College of Nursing and Professor of Nursing Policy at King’s College London, said: “The pandemic has accelerated thousands of student nurses entering the workplace. We can learn from their experiences and develop their education, to support them make the transition and stay the course once they qualify.”

Pan-UK research team for project

A team of senior researchers at Oxford Brookes University will contribute to the project: Professor Jane Appleton, Professor Eila Watson, Dr Cathy Henshall and Dr Zoe Davies and Dr Jo Brett. The project will also bring together experts from seven other universities: University of Birmingham, University of Dundee, Cardiff University, Coventry University, King’s College London, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Ulster. The Royal College of Nursing and the Nursing and Midwifery Council form part of the study’s Advisory Group.

The Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery is a partnership between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Brookes University, with the support of the Oxford Academic Health Partners. 

Investigating how nurse education prior to and during COVID-19 prepares nurses for their work in the pandemic: an analysis of what works is led by Dr Mary Malone and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council through UK Research and Innovation.  

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