A Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust nurse is paving the way
for others after completing a Chief Nurse Fellowship – a first for the
Paula Lowson, Macmillan cancer information and support
manager, was awarded the first Chief Nurse Fellowship in Rotherham to research the benefits of Mindful Compassion training for people
affected by cancer.
The fellowship is awarded to nurses who aim to conduct research to help instigate change and improvement in their area of work.
Having benefited from the practice of Mindful
Compassion training herself, Paula wanted to research and understand the
long-term impact of a one-day Macmillan Mindful Compassion course, which she
had introduced previously, on emotional wellbeing and behaviour change.
She wanted to identify the
benefits of attending the Mindful Compassion course two to three years after it
was held, to find out whether people still used the skills taught, with a view
to introducing nationally recognised Macmillan programmes into the Trust not
only for individuals affected by cancer but also within other clinical areas.
Paula was mentored by Sandra Lawton, Nurse Consultant
and Clinical Lead Dermatology, who presented the research at an event in
Nottingham University Hospital earlier this month.
Sandra said the Chief Nurse Excellence in Care Junior
Fellows Posts seek to address the limited opportunities for nurses and midwives
to undertake research. The award was first developed at Nottingham University
“I had the privilege of mentoring Paula through her
CNF journey. She had a busy six months and achieved a great deal,” she said.
The key themes and benefits
Paula found through her research included reducing anxieties, aiding sleep and
helping to cope with stressful situations, while feeling more empowered, a
sense of calm and more relaxed. People were also found to have more time for
themselves and were more focused with coping strategies as well as pain
Paula said: “I have found the CNF to be both
challenging and rewarding. With support from my mentor and the Chief Nurse I
have gained additional skills in research and strategic planning. This has
empowered me to continue with the research to assist in implementing changes
that will in turn help patients and carers as well as staff."