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Dr Chiara Dall'Ora BSc, MSc, PhD, RN

Senior Research Fellow in Nursing Workforce

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Chiara's work mainly entails designing and performing large workforce studies using quantitative routinely collected data. She is part of the Workforce Theme in Health Sciences, a group with unique expertise in extracting, linking and analysing such data in the NHS.
Chiara qualified as a Registered Nurse in Italy and, after pursuing a MSc in Nursing and Midwifery Sciences, she completed her PhD within Health Sciences in 2017. Her thesis was about nurses' shift work and job performance. She analysed a large dataset of nurses' shifts from an NHS Trust using multilevel techniques, and her study was the first to find that working 12-hour shifts is associated with higher sickness absence for nurses using objective data.

Enabling nurses to work the safest shift patterns and ensuring that staffing is planned to have the right people with the right skills in place. This is at the heart of my research.

Chiara has extensive knowledge of shift work, both for her experience as a registered nurse, and thanks to the research that she has been carrying out since 2013: in addition to using NHS routinely collected data, she was part of a large European workforce study, the RN4CAST study. Analysing data from more than 30,000 nurses from 12 European countries, she found that working 12-hour shifts and quality/safety outcomes and nurse outcomes. Results of this research have been published on international journals and have been presented at several international conferences.
Chiara's work is mainly funded by the NIHR ARC Wessex and by NIHR grants, and she is leading a two-year study of nurses' shift patterns in Mental Health and Community NHS Trusts.

12-Hour Shift Workers burnout
12-Hour Shift Workers burnout

12-hour shift workers are more prone to burnout

A recent study published in the online journal BMJ Open looked at 12-plus-hour hospital nursing shifts and the link between burnout or job dissatisfaction. Listen to Chiara's interview  on the Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Research interests

  • Shift work
  • Staffing levels
  • Skill mix
  • Burnout
  • Job performance

Affiliate Research Group(s)


Affiliate research group

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Wessex

Research project(s)

Nurse staffing levels, missed vital signs observations and mortality in hospital wards: modelling the consequences and costs of variations in nurse staffing and skill mix

This retrospective observational study uses routinely collected data on ward and shift level nurse staffing, vital signs observations and patient outcomes in 32 general wards in order to explore the relationship between nurse staffing levels and mortality in hospital.

RN4CAST Nurse Forecasting in Europe

This study, undertaken in collaboration with a large international consortium seeks to explore how the size and composition of the registered nursing workforce affects the quality of care in hospitals.

Safe staffing in ICU: development and testing of a staffing model

What is the best model for the allocation of nurses to patients in intensive care settings in England and how does it impact on patient, family, workforce and organisational outcomes?

Consequences, costs and cost-effectiveness of different workforce configurations in English acute hospitals: a longitudinal retrospective study using routinely collected data

This study seeks to understand how variation in the size and make-up of care teams on hospital wards in England influences patient outcomes and the costs of care. 

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  • Module lead for the MRes module Design & Methods for Clinical and Health Research
  • Teaching topics:
    • Quantitative Research Methods
    • Literature reviews
    • Safe staffing research
    • Clinical Guidelines
    • Patient Safety
    • Occupational Wellbeing and Stress
  • Supervision:
    • BSc in Nursing students final project
    • MSc dissertation module students
    • PhD supervision: Catherine Smith – burnout and turnover in mental health settings
  • Personal Academic Tutor for BSc in Nursing students
Dr Chiara Dall'Ora
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 67/3003

Dr Chiara Dall'Ora's personal home page
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