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Nursing research in practice

Our research seeks to address major questions faced by contemporary healthcare including how to respond to the needs of an ageing population; how to prepare staff and services to deliver safe, high quality, patient-centred and compassionate care, and how to develop and deliver efficient and effective services that improve health while giving value for money.

Research is grouped around three key themes:

  • Ageing, later life and long term conditions
    Examining the experience and impact of conditions including dementia and the needs of older people with complex health and social care needs. Current projects include older people and technology and support relating to end of life and long-term conditions.
  • Health care organisation and quality
    Exploring responses to the Francis, Keogh and Cavendish reports to examine how organisational culture and public involvement, influence the delivery of safe, effective compassionate care. Other current work relates to improving quality of life for cancer survivors, and ways of improving wound care.
  • Workforce development, education and learning
    Examining how educational interventions, new and altered roles, and knowledge translation are impacting on professional practice. Researchers are examining mentoring to enhance practice and changing culture, and are interested in the promotion of quality and patient safety through practice based learning.

A key knowledge translation theme within healthcare and public health is that research is undertaken to improve clinical practice or services. This ensures that changes in professional interventions and interactions are informed by a robust evidence base.  Our health research has the overarching aim to develop and evaluate services and practices that will optimise quality of life. In undertaking this type of research, partnership working with those in clinical/practice settings is critical.

  • Researchers in Physiotherapy have been involved in the development of a new therapy technique to support people with Parkinson’s to walk. This involves the use of auditory and visual cues to improve the gait and balance of people with Parkinson’s so reducing the deterioration of their walking ability. Resources developed from this research project are used by health and social care staff as well as patients in their own homes. 


  • A current project funded by the British Medical Association is exploring the role of mentoring in medical education and how it can improve doctors’ wellbeing. Mentoring is not currently standard practice in the sector, although the General Medical Council guidelines state all doctors should be willing to take part in mentoring. The project will assess existing evidence of the benefits of mentoring and the researchers will work with up to 100 doctors with over two years’ experience of mentoring to understand the benefits of this practice.


A recently completed Knowledge Transfer Partnership project funded by Innovate UK has developed new models of support for older people living in sheltered housing schemes, to enable them to age-in-place and stay independent for as long as possible.  One part of this work has been to upskill sheltered housing staff so that they are more proactive in supporting older people to access existing health and wellbeing services and also to anticipate ‘early warning signs’ when an individual illustrates early signs of declining health and addressing it quickly thereby reducing hospital admissions and distress for the individuals. 

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

At Northumbria University, our higher and degree apprenticeships are more than a learning programme; they are a partnership. We work with organisations to create courses that meet the demands of businesses.



CPD and Short Courses

Our Continual Professional Development (CPD) courses are designed to open up exciting new possibilities for individuals and organisations. By increasing skills and knowledge and introducing new ways of thinking and working we create impact in performance at all levels.

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