Our Strategy and Vision
The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care is part of King’s College London. Nursing and Midwifery research at King's is rated 1st in the UK, and 2nd in the world (Shaghai World Rankings by subject, 2017). The UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 assessment showed that over 90% of our research was rated as world class or world leading. Research is core to how we innovate, how we create knowledge and impact nursing, midwifery, and healthcare policy and practice, as well as how we educate.
Building on our legacy as the direct descendent of Florence Nightingale’s first school of nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, we undertake world-leading research in nursing, midwifery and healthcare to improve health outcomes for people locally, nationally and internationally, aiming make the world a healthier place.
Our research themes
We invest our time and efforts into areas that deliver high quality, high impact research. Our research tackles the big questions that impact on the health and well-being of individuals, families and populations. Working with interdisciplinary colleagues internationally and nationally, we undertake research across four intertwined and linked themes, providing many opportunities for innovative and creative research based in different health settings, focused on different disease groups, and using a range of methodologies.
If you are interested in learning more about our research, click on the relevant area below and you can find out about the work we have underway.
Our research focuses on healthcare across the lifespan from maternity to end of life. We examine how data and technology can improve people’s health, patient safety and the environments in which they live, and what types of care provision are sustainable in our society.
Innovation is a core element of our work from the inception of an idea through to implementation. For example, we have projects that have led to the development of novel clothing and dressings for those people whose skin is severely damaged by disease or injury (Grocott). This collaboration has led to partnerships in industry, and with designers and engineers, leading to the spin out of new companies.
Research in maternal and child health includes interventions to support maternal and infant physical and psychological health, the maternity workforce, models of care (Bick; Sandall), promoting healthy eating and exercise (Bick), breastfeeding (Bick) and reducing the risk of obesity related disease (Forbes).
Data and technology are used to improve care of those affected by diabetes, from increasing the engagement of young people with health services (Sturt) to examining data sets to spot trends in diabetes-related morbidity and mortality in older people (Forbes).
Our research focuses on assisting individuals and their families affected by long-term conditions to manage and achieve a good quality of life, and challenge inequality where it exists. Colleagues work with individuals to support their psychological and physical health management and wellbeing in a wide range of clinical areas including bowel diseases (Norton), diabetes (Forbes; Sturt, Winkley), genetic conditions (Metcalfe; Patch), complex health problems during and beyond pregnancy, prevention of premature birth (Bick; Sandall), mental health (Norman) and older person’s care (Harris; Nicholson; Fitzpatrick).
Part of the research focus is on transitions in care settings, to ensure patients and their families are supported in their progression between one care setting and the next without detriment to the individual’s health and care provided.
Culture and Identity
The quality of care provision is determined by the culture of the people and organisations where it is provided. Our researchers determine the effects of skill mix, educational and staffing levels on the delivery of care (Rafferty; Harris) and effects of staff experience and speaking up on patient experience. At an organisational level, the research involves examining the role of teamwork and how healthcare systems can improve patient safety through a more resilience- and systems-based approach (Anderson), as well as focusing on quality and safety of care (Sandall; Robert).
Communication is often the basis of nursing and midwifery research, including collaboration and co-design between patients and health professionals (Robert, Bick), use of new technologies to engage with patients (Grocott; Sturt) risk communication (Metcalfe; Patch) and communication between health professionals (Harris).
Given that our Faculty is the successor of Florence Nightingale’s first School of Nursing, we have a strong awareness of our heritage and professional identity, and therefore historical research into nursing and healthcare is also part of our tradition (Rafferty).
Our innovations in care, services and new technologies are underpinned by the strong collaborations and working relationships we have with patients, service users, families and communities; locally and globally. We work with different groups using co-design and co-production methods (Robert) to ensure we meet patients and service users needs and increase accessibility for all.
All colleagues undertake research which can inform prevention and health education to encourage patients, service users, and families to maintain and develop healthy lifestyles, to take up preventative screening options. Our research also highlights when and where health inequalities arise, in order to inform local and national policymakers.
Given the emotional intensity of much healthcare work, research into emotional labour, compassion and staff well-being identifies and informs what is required to promote a highly productive work environment, where staff are supported to be resilient to cope with the stresses of care provision (Harris; Rafferty).
The Faculty will continue to grow our research activity further to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, families and populations. To achieve this ambition we will:
- Build our research reputation by engaging and connecting with interdisciplinary collaborators, practitioners, service-users and policy-makers to ensure our research is relevant, dynamic and capable of improving understanding, changing health behaviours and informing policy and culture.
- Address the major health challenges we face today, exploiting knowledge and learning from science, social science and healthcare research to transform clinical practice and improve healthcare users’ and staff experiences and outcomes across health and social care settings.
- Continue development of our researchers from undergraduate to professorial level to supply the next generation of researchers, educators and clinical academics and research leaders.