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7,469 research nurses and midwives across the UK and Ireland, new census reveals

There are at least 7,469 research nurses and midwives across the UK and Ireland working within all areas of healthcare, reveals a landmark new census initiated by a group of NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse & Midwife Research Leaders.

The census, incorporating responses from research nurses and midwives across all four UK nations and the Republic of Ireland, reveals nurses and midwives are working at every level in healthcare from Bands 5 – 9 in the UK, and from staff nurse to Directors of Nursing or Midwifery in the Republic of Ireland. This suggests there are opportunities to join the profession at every level, with continued potential for career progression. Clinical research nurses and midwives are a specialist workforce, with knowledge, skills and expertise in both clinical practice and research delivery.

The census shows that:

  • 33.7% reported working in joint posts, for example as a clinical research nurse for part of their role as well as a clinical nurse specialist;
  • 72% are working within a single disease/area specialism; 
  • 28% reported covering multiple disease areas. 

NIHR Director of Nursing & Midwifery Professor Ruth Endacott said: “This census reveals the true breadth and depth of our research nursing and midwifery community. We know there are scores of people working incredibly hard day and night helping to bring us new treatments and medicine alongside their healthcare colleagues but we now have a much clearer idea of the size of the workforce. Research nurses and midwives are making a difference to the health of people across the UK and Ireland."

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Source: National Institute for Health Research, 9 February 2022


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