Dr Henshall, who is Head of Research Delivery at Oxford Health and NIHR Associate Director of Nursing, has been a fellow at OBU since 2016 and has collaborated with colleagues there on research projects in the fields of cancer survivorship, self management, mental health and nursing workforce development.

Of her new role Dr Henshall says ‘I am delighted to have been awarded this Readership and look forward to continuing to build professional research and clinical networks and extending and expanding my research interests.’

Dr Cathy Henshall

Dr Cathy Henshall

Dr Henshall is a powerful advocate for the critical role nursing research plays in healthcare. She explains ‘nursing research can help address the healthcare needs of patients across the lifespan, enhancing their health and well-being as a result. It is becoming ever more important in UK healthcare where an ageing population means that more people are living with long-term conditions and chronic illnesses.’

Nurses occupy a unique position to identify gaps in clinical practice and develop ideas and strategies for improving patient care. Rather than carrying out medically focused research that has been designed by doctors, Dr Henshall wants to encourage nurses, to carve out their own nursing-focused areas to research.

She adds ‘research plays an essential role in helping clinicians to deliver high quality patient care and I am keen to build research capacity and capability across the nursing workforce.’ As NIHR Associate Director of Nursing Dr Henshall provides national leadership to the 70@70 Senior Nurse and Midwife Leadership Programme. Current initiatives of the programme include a PhD studentship opportunity to develop an environmental research readiness tool for clinical nurses and  a UKRI funded grant to investigate how nurse education prior to and during Covid-19 prepares student nurses for the pandemic.