A training needs analysis of UK respiratory nurses’ research capability and capacity

Emma Ray, Carol Ann Kelly, David Culliford, University Southampton

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Respiratory nurses possess specialist skills that support the management and treatment of patients with complex diseases. They need to be skilled in evidencing, reporting, and promoting advances in clinical care to improve outcomes for patients. Requiring competence in research and quality improvement knowledge and skills. The aim of this study was to measure the current research capability and capacity of UK respiratory nurses.

An online survey using the validated ‘Research Capacity and Culture Tool’ (RCC) (Holden et al. 2012) was distributed via professional respiratory networks in 2020.

62 nurses participated in the study: 9.7% consultant nurses, 3.2% respiratory research nurses, 25.8% worked in primary care, 22.6% worked in the community, and 27.4% worked in a hospital setting. Generally, all nurses were confident in finding and reviewing literature. Nurses working in primary, community, and secondary care setting reported low research skills and confidence for each of the domains (e.g. writing a protocol, using quantitative/qualitative methods, applying for ethics,) at the individual and team level, although the community and secondary care nurses reported more skill at organisational level. Lack of confidence in gaining ethical approval and funding, no backfill, and conflicting work priorities were cited as barriers to research involvement, despite nurses expressing an interest. Consultant nurses and academics reported higher research skills and more confidence in study design and delivery.

Our study showed low self-reported level of research skills in nurses in more junior/clinical roles. Improved education and organisational funding are required to enable nurse-led respiratory research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021
EventEuropean Respiratory Society Annual Scientific Conference - On-line
Duration: 19 Sept 202123 Sept 2021


ConferenceEuropean Respiratory Society Annual Scientific Conference

Research Institutes

  • Health Research Institute

Research Centres

  • Cardio-Respiratory Research Centre


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