Our research

We undertake independent and collaborative research to better understand and tackle issues of poor care.

Ambitious for change

We value the diversity of the people on our register, and we’re committed to ensuring our processes are fair and accessible to them all.

Our Ambitious for Change programme assesses the impact our regulatory processes have on different groups of nurses, midwives and nursing associates.

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University of Greenwich literature review

We commissioned research at the University of Greenwich into the experiences of ethnic minority nurses and midwives in our fitness to practise process.

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Health and care is evolving and nursing practice is changing and advancing at the same time.

We want to make sure that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to deliver safe care now and in the future. That’s why we review our standards routinely.

Each of these reviews is underpinned by thorough research and evidence.

Advanced practice

We are carrying out a comprehensive review of advanced nursing and midwifery practice and their impact on care.

To start this review, we commissioned two pieces of independent research and engagement.

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Education Standards

Our updated Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education was approved by our Council on 25 January 2023.

To understand the impact and benefits of changing our standards, we commissioned two pieces of research and gathered views from our stakeholders.

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Post-registration standards

In 2022, we reviewed our post-registration standards for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) and specialist practice qualifications (SPQ).

We heard from so many people about what’s important for the new standards. We commissioned an independent research agency, Pye Tait, to help us with the analysis from our engagement work.

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From 2023, we have made changes to our English language requirements so that we maintain our high standards and make sure our processes are as fair and proportionate as possible.

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People who receive care and the nurses, midwives and nursing associates who look after them, have invaluable insight into the realities and expectations of care.

By exploring their views, we can gain further insight into what is needed to achieve safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery that improves everyone’s health and wellbeing.

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Research collaboration

We support research by partners, research institutions and others in health and social care with data and insights.

We have determined a simple framework to focus us on insights that can support our role as regulator and help us to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Read more here

Examples of external research we have contributed to

December 2022 – December 2024

Led by The University of Southampton, funded by The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The N50k programme aims to increase the number of nurses, recruit more nurses from other countries, and reduce the number of nurses who leave. This study aims to find out how well the N50K programme is working and what could be improved.

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2023 ongoing

Led by The Open University, funded by The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

This research aims to understand the experience of people being a witness in FtP processes. It will examine the impact of being a witness in investigations and hearings at fitness to practise tribunals on the patient or service user, family and colleague witnesses, what support they receive from the regulator and what support they would like.

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2023 ongoing
Led by Staffordshire University, funded by the Health Foundation

This Efficiency Research project aims to detect underlying contributory factors for better or worse nurse and ambulance staff retention, and determine its effect on patient outcomes.

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2023 ongoing

Led by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, funded by ADR UK

The overall aim of this pilot study is to understand change in the nursing workforce including the current profile (who enters, stays and leaves and for how long), the demographic and geographical influences on the profile and risk factors, plus the implications for the workforce and future planning of the workforce.

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2023 ongoing
PhD project led by PhD student at the Open University

The research looks at how regulators might listen to and act on public and patient narratives in fitness to practise. It hopes to incite tangible change as regulators consider what it means to be person-centred.

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Led by the University of Leicester, funded by the NIHR and Medical Research Council

This study represents a unique partnership of leading researchers and clinicians with national organisations including the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal Colleges and ethnic minority healthcare worker associations that will investigate if, how, and why, ethnicity affects COVID-19 clinical outcomes in Healthcare workers.

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