Journal Article

Academic writing retreats for nurses: developing engagement, dissemination and collaboration opportunities


Background: COVID-19 raised the profile of nursing globally, with widespread recognition of nurses’ valuable roles during the pandemic. Concurrently, the United Kingdom played a crucial role in leading COVID-19 healthcare research breakthroughs. There exists a unique opportunity to capitalise on this momentum to support nurses to become more engaged in, and disseminate, their research widely. One approach to enabling this is through the development of academic writing retreats for nurses. Aim: To report on the development of academic writing retreats to engage nurses in research. Discussion: Four writing retreats were set-up in South England between September 2019 and April 2021. Two were delivered face-to-face on hospital premises and two online due to COVID-19. The retreats provided uninterrupted writing time to draft an academic publication, mentorship, peer support networks and question and answer sessions. . The retreats were attended by 42 health professionals, with over 25 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. The retreats have enabled learning communities to develop, fostering long-term networking opportunities. Mentorship and uninterrupted writing time were rated 4.7 and 4.9 respectively across all retreats (1 for poor, 5 for excellent), with peer support and networking rated 3.3 and 3.9. Conclusion: Academic writing retreats for nurses have widespread benefits, providing nurses with uninterrupted time and space to focus on writing high quality publications and creating networking opportunities through peer support and mentorship channels.  Implications for Practice: Academic writing retreats are a simple, yet effective way to get nurses to engage in research by writing about their own sphere of practice. The retreats continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling research to be published that demonstrates the valuable work of nurses across the international healthcare landscape.

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Henshall, Cathy
Lewin, Tamara

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-08-04

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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