Over 7,000 research nurses and midwives in UK and Ireland, says NIHR

on 09 February 2022

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has revealed that there are 7,469 research nurses and midwives in the UK and Ireland.

A new landmark census was created by NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse & Midwife Research Leaders which found that research nurses and midwives were working at every level of healthcare from Bands 5-9 in the UK, and staff nurse to Directors of Nursing and Midwifery in the Republic of Ireland.

33.7% reported working in joint posts, 72% are working within a single disease/area specialism, and 28% said they were working across multiple disease areas.

According to NIHR, nurses and midwives supported 359 COVID-related clinical research studies and helped recruit over 2.5 million participants across more than 5,000 sites in the UK alone.

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.

“Being a research nurse or midwife is an amazing and fulfilling career. We want research nurses and midwives to know they are valued, recognise themselves as part of the wider research community and have opportunities to grow and develop in research.

“Clinical trials, new drugs and treatments simply would not be possible without our research nurses and midwives. Their contribution is invaluable and critical, impacts everyone, and we call on healthcare Trusts to join us in recognising and applauding these life changers.”

Out of the 7,469 research nurses and midwives, there were 413 Clinical Research Midwives and 34 Clinical Research Nurse and Midwives (dual post).

The full results from the census can be found here.