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Dr Joanne Cooper has been appointed to the chief nursing officer for England’s national nursing team as head of nursing research, focusing on research transformation.
Dr Cooper will oversee work on developing research by nurses in the new national nursing role with NHS England and NHS Improvement.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the national team in advancing research transformation for nurses”
She and her new colleagues will be working towards the aim of ensuring that evidence-based research is at the heart of the nursing profession, and individual nursing careers.
Dr Cooper will join the national team, led by deputy CNO Susan Aitkenhead, from early September for a two-year secondment working three days a week.
She will also continue part-time in her current role as assistant director of nursing (research, innovation and professional regulation) at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).
In addition, Dr Cooper will be joined in the national team by a new head of nursing research for academic strategy, which is currently being recruited to.
This role will be complementary to hers, with a focus on translating ambitions into reality and to providing leadership in enhancing academic research capacity in nursing.
“Jo has worked tirelessly to advance the agenda of nursing and midwifery research”
Dr Cooper said: “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the national team in advancing research transformation for nurses, and ultimately best care for patients and families.
“I believe that this is a pivotal time for us to embed a culture of evidence-based practice, research leadership, including clinical academic career opportunities as core business for our profession.”
CNO for England Ruth May said: “I am delighted that Jo will be joining us to drive transformational change across the nursing profession in England.
“There has never before been such a need for our nursing research capacity and capability to be so front and centre,” she said.
“Jo brings a wealth of experience from her role at NUH, where she has been leading and supporting nursing clinical research and has embedded a culture at of innovation and research delivery.”
She added: “Jo will play a key role in developing and delivering aims for supporting, developing and embedding research”.
Mandie Sunderland, chief nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: “Jo has worked tirelessly to advance the agenda of nursing and midwifery research at NUH and we are now recognised as a great place to work to advance a research career.
“We are very proud that one of our NUH nurses will be working at national level and influencing this important agenda still further.”
Her trust noted that the appointment came at a time when the entire nursing workforce had been demonstrating the importance of evidence-based nursing research “at remarkable pace and scale”.
It noted that work to support, develop and embed research in nursing was largely “put on pause” due to the initial response to Covid-19, but that this work was now being formally re-commenced.