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RCN International Nursing Research Conference marks 60 years of nurses in research

Press Release 03/09/2019

This week, Sheffield plays host to nurse researchers from across the globe for a historic RCN International Nursing Research Conference starting today [Tuesday 3 September 2019] - three days of idea-sharing and discussion that could change the future of nursing and healthcare.

Hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, around 350 nurses and researchers will gather to present new research on a range of clinical topics that could have far-reaching implications for the care nurses provide in the UK and abroad.

Papers to be presented raise questions about the role of virtual reality in healthcare, safety in UK care homes and whether mindfulness can been used to mitigate the workplace stress of nurses among other clinical topics.

RCN President Prof Anne Marie Rafferty, a respected nursing researcher herself, addressed the conference in an opening address.

Prof Rafferty told attendees:

“I am thrilled to be standing in the same room as so many accredited academics and aspiring researchers, who all share the same vision to improve nursing practice through research and policy.

”When I first became President of the Royal College of Nursing I was asked if I still consider myself a nurse, as my current role as Professor of Nursing Policy at King’s College London may have seemed quite removed from hands-on nursing – My answer was absolutely, 100 per cent, yes.

“Nurses should not be boxed in. We must continually challenge the stereotype of what nurses do and what they can be.

“Yes, nurses are at the coalface delivering patient care in a whole range of settings. And they’re doing an amazing job. But nurses are also teachers, researchers, policy-formers, decision-makers and leaders.”

The conference is much more wide-ranging than the first formal meeting of nurses in research in England 60 years ago. In 1959, a group of like-minded nurses formed a research discussion group at a meeting at RCN HQ in Cavendish Square, London.

Doreen Norton, Winifred Raphael, Gertrude Ramsden, Muriel Skeet and Lisbeth Hockey later saw this gathering first develop into the RCN Research Society, and subsequently into what would become this week’s conference.

Conference delegates will also hear from three leading academics: Prof Hugh McKenna, Angela Tod and Prof Linda. H. Aiken.

Prof Aiken will present new international evidence on the impact of safe nurse staffing interventions. She will demonstrate the actions other countries have taken to ensure health and care systems have a safe and effective nursing workforce, with nursing staff with the right skills, working in the right areas in the right numbers.


Notes to Editors

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

  • The RCN International Nursing Research Conference 2019 takes place from Tuesday 3 September until Friday 5 September at City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University. The over-arching theme of this year's conference is Impact. The conference is open to anyone interested in nursing and research. It will be of particular interest to nurses, and colleagues in related disciplines, involved in the development and use of knowledge that impacts on nursing practice or the context in which nurses’ practice.
  • In a change to the scheduled speakers, Lord Willis of Knaresborough will no longer be delivering the Winifred Raphael Memorial Lecture.

Press Office Contacts

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020 7647 3727

Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Claire Nelson, Senior Media Officer
029 2054 6401

Michael Finlayson, Media Officer
020 7647 3459

Out of hours duty press officer
020 7647 3633