DOI: 10.1177/17449871231209037 ISSN: 1744-9871

The South West Clinical School model: an initiative to transform clinical academic career pathways

Frazer Underwood, Bridie Kent, Pamela Rae, Kim O’Keeffe, Jill Shawe
  • Research and Theory


The Clinical School Model connects professorial staff from the university directly to practitioners in the National Health Service to promote evidence informed practice and develop clinical academic careers. These are promoted widely, but strategic adoption into organisational culture and workforce plans are challenging to overcome.


To describe the development of the Clinical School Model in Cornwall and explore how it generates impact through staff engagement activities to support clinical academic career pathways. Structure, process and outcomes developments over the last 3-years are reported.


Donabedian’s framework (structure, process and outcome) was used to report on the development and impact of the Clinical School Model.


Structural and process activities are reported, illustrating strong foundations to embed clinical academic career pathway opportunities. In the absence of empirical reporting standards for such developments, quantitative and qualitative outcomes are reported against the Clinical School’s 5-year strategic plan.


This paper responds to the lack of reported evidence on developing organisational infrastructure to address the clinical academics aspirations of nurses and their employers. This important contribution leads a call for more organisations to report to the evidence base, enabling shared learning and shaping future research.

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