August 2017 Profile: Fiona Cowdell
From Staff Nurse to Professor of Nursing and Health Research and NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow
My research journey began serendipitously. I had spent many fulfilling years in clinical practice working in the specialties of medicine and geriatrics at operational and strategic levels. Over the years I worked through all the qualifications that I needed to progress my career in the NHS: BA (Hons), PGCE, MA. Each course had a research component and my interest was piqued.
In practice I had seen research nurses recruiting to trials that seemed interesting, but there the path went cold. I continued to rise up the nursing hierarchy and when working as a Senior Nurse Manager for Medicine and Older People, I decided that I wanted to make a difference to patient care in another way.
I registered for a part-time Doctorate in which I investigated the care of older people with dementia in acute hospitals from the perspectives of the patients themselves, their carers and the health staff providing care. This work was supported by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Society.