Skip to main content

International Nurses Day

To mark International Nurses Day on 12th May, 2023, members of the R&D team share their journey and what motivated them to take up a role in research.

 

Ayisatu Jarrett

My name is Ayisa and I am a cardiology nurse at heart, working in the Coronary Care Unit for six years.

Then I decided to be brave and I transferred to General Critical Care Unit with the vision to expand my nursing knowledge and skills. I spent nine months in the unit and decided to move back to Cardiology to become a Research Sister.

My journey into research started after I had to submit my own piece of research for my Masters degree. Creating my own research study was challenging, not only because I was doing it in the middle of a global pandemic, but also because research was a new world to me.

The most difficult part was learning and understanding the theory and principles behind qualitative research while searching, collecting and analysing the data for the study. Additionally, I had to take unexpected leave from my studies to support my clinical area as Covid-19 was creating pressures on beds and a rising number of colleagues were contracting the virus. Resuming my dissertation after a long break was challenging but I was determined to create a piece of research that I thought could make a difference.

My study had two issues that I believed the research world needed to address. I wanted to tackle the underrepresentation of women in Cardiology research studies by creating a study that had a study sample made only of females. The second was to identify the reason why women with symptoms of heart attack delayed presenting to hospital, a phenomenon that some researchers have identified but was vaguely investigated.

By the end of my degree and after spending months living among research books, I felt like I finally understood the power of research. I realised that research is behind everything that we have in our lives and how it can be used to discover new ways to manage patients’ treatment and conditions. In that moment I knew that I could help make a greater impact in patient care through a role in research. So I decided to join the Cardiology research team.

Eight months into the role, I am still happy that I have joined the department. I get to learn new things every day, build a close rapport with participants and work colleagues, as well as lead my own cardiology research trials.

I am currently managing a trial that investigates the use of Artificial Intelligence within healthcare which I believe will be the new way of delivery care in the future.

 

ABI JOSE

My nursing journey began more than a decade ago in the Indian army, where I had the opportunity to serve my country for more than 11 years. I was later recruited by the NHS as an overseas nurse, and my life took a new turn.

I started my journey in the respiratory ward amid the pandemic. It was an exhausting and challenging experience, but it was also incredibly rewarding. I worked with the Covid research team and I was inspired by the nurses who came everyday with their site files. I wondered about the nature of their studies, how they collected data, and how they ensured that patients met the protocol requirements.

My experience in the respiratory ward sparked my interest in research nursing and I knew that I wanted to learn more about how research could improve patient care. I am currently based in the Clinical Research Facility as a CRF Research Sister, specialising in early phase clinical trials.

From my standpoint, early phase trials have enabled me to develop not only fundamental research skills but equally prepared me to manage complex studies and risk associated with these trials. As a research nurse, I feel empowered and fulfilled in my role. I could spend more time with patients and to make a difference in their lives. I have seen first-hand how research can improve patient care and I am proud to be part of a team that is working towards advancing medical knowledge.

As I continue my journey as a research nurse, I am also pursuing my Masters degree in nursing. Balancing a full-time job, raising two young girls with my husband, and pursuing higher education, can be challenging but it is worth it. I strongly believe that education is the most powerful tool to broaden the horizons, provide opportunities and reduce inequalities in our society. I am passionate about advancing my knowledge and skills in nursing and research, and I want to inspire other international nurses to do the same.

My experience as an international nurse has given me a unique perspective on the importance of diversity in the healthcare workforce. I have encountered many international nurses who have skills and expertise to excel in clinical research nursing but may not have the confidence or opportunity to do so. I believe that by sharing my story and advocating for diversity and gender equality, I can help empower other international nurses to pursue careers in clinical research nursing.

In conclusion, my journey from an overseas nurse to a research nurse has been challenging and rewarding. I am proud to be a part of a diverse and dedicated team of healthcare professionals who are working to advance patient care through research.

I hope my story inspires other women to pursue careers in clinical research nursing and to embrace their unique perspectives and experiences in healthcare.