A first for Wales: Leading academic appointed to Florence Nightingale Foundation new role in Clinical Nursing Practice Research
In partnership with the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have made a new Professorial appointment.
Dr Lesley Lowes, formerly a Reader in Paediatric Diabetes Nursing at Cardiff University, has been appointed to the role of Chair of Clinical Nursing Practice Research.
This flagship role is the first Florence Nightingale Professor of Clinical Nursing Research in Wales and presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate academic leadership in translating research directly into clinical care, supporting innovation and enhancing the patient experience.
Professor Sheila Hunt, Dean and Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences, said:
“We are delighted to appoint Lesley to this new role. She has been with the School of Healthcare Sciences, formerly the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, since 1999. She has always had a passion for clinical practice, working in a dual research/clinical post at the School. This is an innovative and exciting new post which builds on well-established collaborations with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Florence Nightingale Foundation. It builds on a shared belief in the importance and value of clinical nursing research which improves the lives of patients and their families. We are delighted to host the first Florence Nightingale Professor of Clinical Nursing Research here at Cardiff University.”
Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer (Wales), said:
“I really welcome the appointment of Dr Lesley Lowes as the first FNF Clinical Nursing Chair in Wales. This is an excellent example of collaborative working between the Foundation, Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, designed to support the clinical research capability and capacity in Wales. The continued expansion of senior nursing research roles is important as it drives the development of the underpinning evidence base for nursing practice, which in turn leads to improvements in the care and outcomes for patients."
Ruth Walker, Executive Director of Nursing at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said Dr Lowes’ appointment signalled an important development in advancing nursing research.
“As a health board, we are delighted to welcome Lesley to this prestigious role. Supporting the nursing workforce to build capacity and capability in nursing research is absolutely crucial. Lesley is a fantastic role model for our nurses at Cardiff and Vale in raising the profile of clinical academic careers and we look forward to working with her as she develops her new role.”
In her research role, Dr Lowes has been key to the development of a sustained and progressive programme of work. Her research interests encompass childhood diabetes, theories of grief, loss, adaptation and change, service users’ involvement in research and the experiences of children/young people and their parents in relation to healthcare.
In addition, she is a recognised expert in the involvement of service users in the research process. In 2007, she was awarded the All Wales Outstanding Achievement Award for Nursing and Midwifery.
Professor Elizabeth Robb, Chief Executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, said:
“We are delighted that Lesley has been appointed to this exciting new role. I believe that Florence Nightingale would be thrilled to see this appointment made, particularly at a leading university/health provider in Wales. She believed passionately in nurses continuing to learn and drive forward improvements in the care of patients, and the bedrock of any learning has to be research. Lesley will be an ambassador for FNF and involved in our work. We hope this will be just one key part of a network of prestigious appointments across the UK.”
Professor Lowes stated that she was both excited and honoured to take on the role:
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to focus on improving care for patients. Following Florence Nightingale’s example we need nurses to question practice, review and implement existing evidence into practice, and develop the evidence needed to deliver the highest quality care to patients. We are seeing increasing recognition of the importance of clinical nursing research, and support for clinical academic roles for nurses nationally. I look forward with great anticipation to working with colleagues to take on this challenge.”