New research on rural nurse recruitment

The challenges of recruiting nurses to rural Wales are being explored in a new study based at Aberystwyth University.

Research by PhD student and registered nurse Angharad Jones is examining why nurses seem more likely to apply to work in urban areas.

As part of her doctoral project, Angharad is calling on nurses across Wales to share their reasons for deciding where to apply for a job.

One of the issues she will be looking at is the relationship between where nurses work in relation to the location of their childhood upbringing and where they trained as nurses.

“Recruitment and retention of nursing staff is an increasing problem in Mid and West Wales as well as other rural areas,” said Angharad, who is studying part-time for her PhD whilst also working part-time as a registered nurse at Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.

“My research aims to identify factors influencing nurses’ decision making about where they choose to work and live, taking into account personal as well as professional reasons. The study will also put forward workforce initiatives and other solutions to tackle these health care challenges and make a real difference to communities.”

The research project is being supervised at Aberystwyth University by Dr Rachel Rahman, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Health Care Research, and Dr OJ Jiaqing from the Department of Psychology.

“This PhD is one of a range of innovative and impactful research projects being carried out at the Centre to inform the provision of rural health care for current and future generations,” said Dr Rahman.

“A lot of research has been done on the barriers to rural healthcare recruitment in countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States. Whilst many of the challenges and problems can translate to the situation in Wales, the scale of the problem here is different as well as the cultural context. This new research will give us an important insight into the particular challenges we face in rural Wales and will help us to develop appropriate solutions.”

The PhD project receives funding from Rural Health and Care Wales (RHCW), based in Aberystwyth.

RHCW Project Manager, Anna Prytherch, said: “One of the prime aims of Rural Health and Care Wales is to provide a focal point for the development and collation of high quality research pertinent to rural health and wellbeing. This new investigation by Aberystwyth University will add to the evidence base surrounding the rural health care debate and give us a deeper understanding of the core issues we need to tackle.”

If you are a nurse working in Wales and would like to contribute to this research project, please contact Angharad Jones