Get access

Lecturer practitioners in UK nursing and midwifery: what is the evidence? A systematic review of the research literature


Graham R Williamson
Senior Lecturer, Adult Nursing
Faculty of Health and Social Work
University of Plymouth
Exeter Centre
Devon EX2 6AS
Telephone: 01392 457150


Background.  Lecturer practitioner roles have been widely established in the UK, and are seen as having the ability to overcome the theory–practice gap in nursing, as well as offering other benefits including functioning as a link between education and practice.

Aims and objectives.  This article systematically reviews the research literature on UK lecturer practitioner roles in nursing and midwifery, in order to construct a picture of the themes that emerge from their national implementation.

Conclusions.  Only eight published research studies meeting the inclusion criteria were identified in journals, and five more included from the ‘grey literature’, totalling 13 suitable research reports. Of these 13 papers, six involved nurses and midwives. Key themes from the literature are outlined and discussed. There is an overwhelming preference for qualitative methodologies, although there is a strong argument for quantitative work in mixed-methods studies.

Relevance to clinical practice. Lecturer practitioner roles can make an important contribution to nursing and midwifery education, but this is problematic. It is essential that managers clarify the purpose, responsibilities, support and review of lecturer practitioner roles if they are to be successful.