<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1721686861413852&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Why Nurses Transition into Clinical Trials & Research

Posted by PCC Institute for Health Professionals on June 15, 2017

nurses transition into clinical research

Updated Jan. 14, 2022

As a nurse, you can provide care in a variety of settings, from primary care in a physician’s office to intensive care at a hospital. Now more than ever, as advances in medicine become more and more necessary, many nurses are working in a different setting: clinical research. However, this field also has immense benefits for RNs.

What is clinical research?

Clinical research studies the effectiveness of new medicines, treatments, devices, screenings and diagnostic tools. Every advance in medicine we have today is thanks to the efforts of clinical researchers.

The most common type of clinical research is the clinical trial. During a clinical trial, patients take new medicines or undergo new treatments. The trial reveals if these medicines are safe, effective and offer benefits over existing medicines. However, these clinical trials frequently take place in hospitals, clinics and other medical centers, rather than just private laboratories.

Many different types of health professionals conduct clinical research trials, including scientists, physicians, nurses and paramedics. Each healthcare professional brings a different and important perspective to research, helping improve healthcare now and into the future.

What is a research nurse?

A research nurse, or clinical trials nurse, is at the leading edge of new medical discoveries. He or she studies diseases, helps develop new treatments and examines how to improve patient care. Research nurses may work for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, private physician offices, universities and in many other settings.

As a member of the clinical research team, a nurse often takes on responsibilities such as:

  • Studying and reading medical journals
  • Evaluating previous research
  • Providing patient care
  • Organizing and overseeing clinical trials
  • Recruiting participants to clinical trials
  • Collecting data on a treatment’s effectiveness
  • Giving medicines and treatments according to a strict protocol
  • Recording and documenting all research results
  • Writing research studies for publications

A nurse’s role depends on the type of research he or she is working on and how their research team is organized.

To become a research nurse, you must be a registered nurse. Many employers require a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in nursing as well. Typically, the higher your education and certification, the more leadership you have on a research team.

Research nurses should also have taken classes in clinical research or trials. After gaining experience as a research nurse, you qualify to become certified through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

>>> Learn more about the Foundations of Clinical Research course

Why do nurses transition to clinical trials and research?

You may choose to become a research nurse for many reasons. Some nurses enjoy working normal hours and shifts, typically from 8 am to 5 pm, without having to work night shifts or long 12-hour shifts.

But for many research nurses, clinical research and trials are their calling. They may understand the impact their clinical research work has on the future of medicine, and feel fulfilled by helping to bring about these advances, regardless of the hours they would work. They understand that a nurse’s perspective is unique and valuable to the improvement of healthcare and strive to help not just their patients, but patients across the world receive better care.

If you are interested in becoming a research nurse, you can undergo extra training and education to learn how research work. At Portland Community College, our Foundations of Clinical Research program helps experienced health professionals transition into research roles and take their careers to the next level.

Learn more about how our program can help you become a Clinical Trials nurse.

Like what you've read? Subscribe to stay updated.

From entry-level training to continuing education units (CEUs) for working  professionals, CLIMB's Institute for Health Professionals offers a range  of educational opportunities for health care professionals. You can always  count on the Institute for Health Professionals at PCC CLIMB to provide  the health training that you need to succeed in a health care career. 

Topics: Healthcare, Clinical Research, institute for health professionals

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all