World-leading scientists share research excellence with new nursing students

Three leading scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will be sharing their life-saving research with 800 new first-year nursing students today (Friday, March 26).

Clinical Academic Professor of HIV and Sexual Health Claudia Estcourt, newly-appointed Honorary Professor Nicola Steedman, who is the Scottish Government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and leading drugs researcher Dr Matt Smith (pictured above) are behind the innovative plan.

Professor Steedman has close research links with GCU’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus research group and is a key part of Professor Estcourt’s HIV prevention programme.

Each researcher will record a short video interview with one of the nursing lecturers, outlining their research and how it is involved in improving public health.

The videos will be shown to the nursing students as part of their new Health, Wellbeing and Inequalities module, developed in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Future Nurse programme.

The module development team are lecturers in adult nursing – Programme Leader Dr Val Ness, Module Leader Martin Murchie, Sarah Renton, Linzi Nisbet and Dr Jenny Dalrymple.

The topics included in the research videos will be a focus on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) delivery in Scotland to prevent transmission of HIV, partner notification for chlamydia infection and heroin-assisted treatment for injecting drug users.

Professor Jacqueline McCallum, Head of Department, Department of Nursing and Community Health, said: “I am delighted to see the introduction of ground-breaking research to first-year student nurses. It will be inspiring for them to see research that’s happening in their own institution, especially in times of COVID while we are not on campus.

“By introducing public health research to undergraduate nursing students from esteemed researchers this helps them to understand research and evidence-based practice for their future nursing work to improve outcomes for their patients and communities.”

The researchers are part of the University’s Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) – improving health and wellbeing for all.

The Centre makes a direct and significant contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing – issued by the United Nations in 2015 as a blueprint for peace and prosperity across the planet.

Professor Andrea Nelson, Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences and Director of GCU ReaCH, said: “At GCU we have world-leading research in public health that makes a real difference to communities across the globe.

“It is brilliant to share our research with the first-years and to strengthen the links between the practise of healthcare, education, research and leadership.

“In line with our mission, we educate the practitioners of the future, building research evidence into their curriculum. This magical combination of excellence in both education and research saves lives.”

The plan to involve researchers came about after the development team approached Professor Estcourt, who helped identify two other national and international leaders in their field – Professor Steedman and Dr Smith – who were delighted to share their work with nursing students, especially at an early stage in their education.

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