‘First of its kind’ academic post created for social care nursing

The creation of a new university post specifically for adult social care nursing represents a “massive step change” in recognition for those working in the sector, according to a senior nurse leader.

The RCN Foundation announced on Wednesday that it was funding a new academic post to lead on education and research in adult social care nursing, with recruitment for the post to begin shortly.

“This role, which is the first of its kind, represents a critical opportunity to raise the profile of social care”

Margaret Rowe

It revealed that the University of Salford has been appointed as the host of the RCN Foundation Chair in Adult Social Care Nursing, in what it described as a “first of its kind initiative”.

The foundation said the role would “take a strategic lead in shaping research and education in adult social care at a local, national, and international level”.

The chair will be based at the University of Salford but will be expected to work across the four countries of the UK, said the foundation.

It added that the holder of the role would influence and lead national focus on educational preparation for nurses working in adult social care.

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Additionally, it said the holder would lead research programmes in all aspects of practice related to adult social care, as well as building capacity and capability within this domain.

Speaking at the event, Professor Deborah Sturdy, England’s first chief nurse for adult social care, said the new post represented a “massive step change” in recognition for adult social care nursing.

“This is a catalyst for change, setting the standard for others to follow and helping to demonstrate the skills, experience and values of the sector as a whole,” she said in an official statement.

“I am delighted the RCN Foundation sees this as a priority and recognises the importance and value of our incredible social care workforce,” she said.

Deepa Korea, director of the RCN Foundation, said: “We are very pleased to announce this long-term investment to support and improve adult social care in the UK and are excited to be working alongside the University of Salford and see this project come to fruition.”

Ms Korea also noted that the foundation had recently conducted a survey aimed at staff working in adult social care.

“This is a monumental step for social care research”

Helen Whately

“The need for a heightened focus on adult social care is vital, evidenced by our survey results of which 36% of respondents were clear in that they want improved career pathways and access to training to support them in their roles in social care,” she said.

“This is, therefore, a significant and timely opportunity to contribute to innovation and longevity in the sector, something that is clearly desperately needed,” she said.

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Professor Margaret Rowe, dean of the School of Health and Society at Salford, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to host the RCN Foundation chair in adult social care nursing.

“This role, which is the first of its kind, represents a critical opportunity to raise the profile of social care as well as to take a strategic lead in shaping teaching, research and clinical practice in this area.”

Social care minister Helen Whately added: “This is a monumental step for social care research, with this new role taking the lead in a five-year research programme.

“No one should underestimate what you can achieve in a career in social care – whether at the front line or by pursuing research or education.

“This an achievement for the care workforce as a whole, and it’s another step to make sure care professionals are recognised for their skills and talents,” she said.

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