Sparked from a desire to encourage more nurses to engage in community research, the QNI Community Nursing Research Forum was created in February 2023.

Crucially, the Forum is open to all nurses interested in community research, no matter what their area of interest, speciality or level of experience.

A year on, the Forum continues to develop and now has over 500 members. This overwhelming amount of interest and engagement has been very energising and has encouraged us to build a range of stimulating and useful resources based on members’ requests and development needs. There is clearly a real appetite for engaging with research within community nursing and we want to support members in developing their skillsets, networks and research interests.

Map of Britain and NI with regions Forum Members in each region of Britain and Northern Ireland

Giving nurses the opportunity to engage in research may not seem like a priority in such uncertain times, especially when much of the workforce is understaffed and can feel demoralised. However, we believe that research can be a chance to recharge and stimulates new perspectives. Conducting and engaging in research requires many different skills and abilities and can give nurses some respite from the demands of clinical practice. It also allows nurses to communicate and collaborate closely with like-minded peers involved in research, something that can be limited when working in community settings.

Our webpage is a great starting place for those new to the Forum. Members and guests can navigate through many interesting and helpful resources, with pages dedicated to funding and training opportunities, profiles of Forum members, and our mentorship scheme.

The Forum also holds regular events, notably our Research Masterclasses and webinars. Our first Masterclass took place in December 2022; aimed at research beginners, it focused on highlighting the value of research for patients and community nursing. Presented by Professor Alison Leary MBE, the Masterclass looked at the QNI’s International Community Nursing Observatory’s (ICNO) work of using evidence to influence community nursing and care. Alison stressed the importance of engaging with research at all levels, from nurses to policy makers, in order to improve services and affect change.

Our January Masterclass was delivered by Dr Jenni Burt who asked all the attendees to become ‘Sherlock-esque detectives’ when critically appraising qualitative research papers. Jenni encouraged attendees to look around a paper and ask themselves important questions like how many citations does it have, and are the claims within it supported by sufficient evidence? Both Masterclasses had over 140 attendees, and the summaries and recordings of the sessions are available on our webpage, along with the details of future Masterclasses.

Along with the Masterclasses, we are also hosting webinars in March and May. The theme of the webinar in March is ‘Developing the community and public health nursing workforce and research careers’, while May’s session is titled ‘Working with underserved communities’. Both webinars will feature a host of diverse, inspiring speakers and include Q&As.

Find out more and join the QNI Community Nursing Research Forum

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