From patients to participants – on becoming a research nurse


Research Nurse, Alison Wilson Kay, introduces her role in the EMPOWER project and reflects on moving from a clinical role into a research role.

I’m a registered mental health nurse and my background prior to the EMPOWER study was mainly in inpatient settings, working in perinatal and child & adolescent services. The EMPOWER team is based at Glasgow University’s Mental Health Research Facility, and working in an office-based job now as opposed to a hospital environment obviously feels different; no uniform, no alarm, no jangling keys.

I now have contact with participants rather than patients: I might speak on the phone with people using the EMPOWER App, or perhaps see others in their own homes. Previously I would spend up to 12 hours a day/night working with only 6 hospital inpatients and their families/carers. Moving into research has been quite a daunting change In terms of the shift required in my own nursing practice, and I know that in the course of the EMPOWER study I…

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