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Clinical Academic Careers for General Practice Nurses: A qualitative exploration of associated barriers and enablers

JONES, Sarahjane, Bradbury, Andrew, Shortland, Sue, Hewett, Fraser and Storey, Karen (2021) Clinical Academic Careers for General Practice Nurses: A qualitative exploration of associated barriers and enablers. Journal of Research in Nursing, 26 (7). ISSN 1744-9871

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Abstract or description

Background: The delivery of research in healthcare is dependent on a sub-group of clinicians – clinical academics – who concurrently engage in clinical practice and academic activities. The need to increase access to such roles for GPNs has been identified, though the need for a robust career framework remains.
Aims and objectives: This study aimed to explore the concept of clinical academic careers for general practice nurses (GPNs) by identifying barriers and enablers associated with pursuing and performing such roles.
Design: qualitative interview and focus group design.
Methods: GPNs (n=18) and general practitioners (GPs) (n=5) engaged in either an audio recorded interview or focus group. Verbatim transcripts were subject to thematic analysis.
Results: Four themes were identified: awareness and understanding; career pathway; personal and professional attributes; and organisational factors. Awareness and understanding was generally poor. Participants suggested that the career pathway was unclear, though it was generally assumed that such roles were “out of reach” and require a minimum of Master’s level education. An interest in research and the confidence to perform such duties were reported as the required personal and professional attributes. Organisational factors included the need for employers to understand the value and benefit of GPN clinical academic roles, along with ensuring that the inevitable competing demands of such a role were appropriately managed.
Conclusions: This study highlights the difficulties faced by GPNs wishing to pursue a clinical academic career. Academia is seemingly placed upon a pedestal, emphasising the need to embed research training early in nursing education to alter GPN perceptions that clinical academic roles are unobtainable.
Relevance: The development of a robust career pathway for GPN clinical academic roles may have a positive impact on the retention of experienced GPNs and attract newly qualified nurses. This research provides evidence as to the need for one.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Sarahjane JONES
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2021 14:37
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 15:25

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