Maggie Shepherd, Lead Nurse for Research at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Clinical Professor at University of Exeter Medical School, has been selected to become part of a brand new nurse and midwife research initiative – the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) 70@70 Research Leader programme.
Maggie is one of 70 senior nurses and midwives from across the UK to be accepted onto the scheme. The NIHR-funded three year programme will champion research, innovate and drive improvements in future care.
Having spent over 20 years working as a Clinical Academic in monogenic diabetes (combining an academic research role with clinical care and education), Maggie is passionate about supporting and encouraging other nurses and midwives to develop their own research whilst continuing to work in clinical practice.
“The NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse and Midwife Research Leader programme is an amazing opportunity to raise the profile of research amongst nurses and midwives and embed a multi-professional research culture in the NHS,” she said.
“I was absolutely delighted to be selected as one of the 70@70 research leaders and am proud to represent the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust as part of this national initiative.”
As part of the programme Maggie will champion the promotion of a research active culture at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and work closely with the NIHR to champion the nursing research voice nationally. The role is funded for two days a week for three years and Maggie will be developing strategic priorities for NIHR funded research by nurses and midwives; raising the profile of the NIHR within the NHS; improving the visibility of nursing and midwifery within NIHR activities and improving or developing the academic pathway for nursing and midwives.
“I hope to be able to achieve an increase in the numbers of nurses and midwives involved in research; create a strategic approach for multi-disciplinary research activity within the Trust; create a greater awareness of the role of NIHR; help identify local research priorities; and for research to be considered an important part of clinical care across the Trust,” said Maggie.
“Increasing nursing and midwifery research within the NHS will result in more research studies being available for patients that focus on ‘frontline’ care which may directly lead to improvements in care and a workforce of nurses and midwives who are able to identify local research priorities.”
Dr Pauline McGlone, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula, said: “I’d like to congratulate Maggie, and the other three successful applicants from our region, on gaining a place on the leadership programme. To have so many representatives for the region selected, with such tough competition, is a real achievement. This is a fantastic step forward in supporting us to further promote a vibrant and innovative research culture across the South West. I look forward to working with all four of the leaders to identify additional local research priorities and help influence the importance of research-led care to staff across our organisations.”