Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

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Our work

Discover more about the work of the RCN Research Forum and the other organisations we work with

How we represent forum members

  • Providing research leadership and expertise to support the RCN's strategic intent to influence the development of practice and policy from an evidence base.
  • Supporting and meetings the needs of the Forum's members.
  • Providing a network for sharing experiences and learning and development opportunities.

Our strategy

  • Organising the annual RCN International Nursing Research Conference.
  • Contributing to the annual Winifred Raphael Public Lecture.
  • Participating in consultations.
  • Developing resources lists relating to research for the RCN Library.
  • Disseminate news of funding opportunities and forthcoming research events.
  • Supporting clinical research nursing (CRN) through the newly developed CRN sub-committee.
  • Engaging in social media via our Facebook group and Twitter feed.

Research Forum Annual Report 2023

What we are currently working on:

  • Leading on the development of the new RCN Research and Innovation Strategy. The first draft of our new strategy sets out our new approach, but we’d like your input too. Download the draft document and share your thoughts, comments and suggestions via this feedback form. The closing date for feedback is midnight on Friday 1 December. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the strategy further, please contact Dr Ada Hui, UK Professional Lead for Research.
  • Continued development of the impact case studies with other forums.
  • Continue to support the Research forum sub-committee for clinical research nurses with their work plan for 2021.
  • Publish the updated work on career pathways for nurses.
  • The Research Society is taking a leading role on the All Forum project on clinical supervision.
  • Complete the ICON longitudinal survey study and embedded interview study.

Recent activity

The ICON study

The Research Forum designed and led a key national study exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on the Nursing and Midwifery workforce (ICON) study. This national (4-country) survey was administered at three time-points: prior to COVID-19 peak, during the COVID-19 peak, and in the recovery period following COVID-19. Our summary findings from the first two timepoints were reported in real time and have informed national health and social care policy:

Our final data analysis is ongoing, with publication in high-profile peer-reviewed journals planned for 2021.

Evaluation of the Florence Nightingale Foundation leadership support service

The Research Forum are leading the evaluation of the Florence Nightingale Foundation leadership support service called Nightingale Frontline. This service aims to support the unprecedented leadership challenges faced by nurses and midwives working across all levels of the professions during the COVID-19 crisis.

Winifred Raphael Memorial Lecture

The prestigious annual Winifred Raphael Memorial public lecture was held on 12 November 2020 in a new online format. Professor Uduak Archibong's (Professor of Diversity, University of Bradford) lecture on "Increased risk of COVID-19 on the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) population" was attended by 150 RCN members and members of the public. The lecture has been posted online.


Leading, collaborating, influencing

The RCN and its forums are invited to participate in many cross working and multidisciplinary workstreams. Below are a selection of some of the activities that members of the Research Forum are involved in on your behalf.

  • RCN Strategic Research Alliance with the University of Sheffield. The Society actively contributes to the work of the alliance through the involvement of Professor Ruth Harris, who sits on the Advisory Board.
  • Clinical Academic Roles Implementation Network (CARIN). Professor Julie Sanders and Dr Rachel Taylor represent the RCN on CARIN, which is hosted by the Councils of Deans of Health.
  • Professor Bridie Kent, Dr Keith Couper and Professor Ruth Harris have contributed to the RCN's work on developing clinical academic careers, co-ordinated by Dr Nichola Ashby, Head of Professional Learning & Development.

Research funding opportunities

Find sources of funding so you can start your research project.

Clinical research nurses

Information and resources for clinical research nurses.

Research and innovation bulletin

Keep up to date with all the latest developments in nursing research by signing up to the RCN’s fortnightly research and innovation bulletin.

Research and innovation bulletin

Page last updated - 10/01/2024