Nurses are known to be the ones who provide direct care for the patient. Some nurses are also familiar with the role of nurse scientist. However, nurses may take up roles that are completely new to them within the world of clinical research. These roles include clinical research coordinator, educator or manager. They can also take up less traditional role like regulatory specialist, study monitor and IRB (institutional board review) admin.
Regulatory specialist: their activities relate mainly with preparing regulatory documents and communicating with regulatory bodies. Nurses can work as regulatory affairs specialist, regulatory operation coordinator, regulatory coordinator. They can work with government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, academic medical centers.
Study monitor: they monitor clinical research practices and make sure that it complies with necessary research protocols and regulations. They can also work at government agencies, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, device manufacturers etc.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) administrator: they are the professionals in charge of overseeing, administrating, implementing and managing IRB activities. The activities could be policies and procedures that relates to protecting the welfare of humans. They can work at all IRBs, local, commercial or central IRB.
Nurses that have developed interest in the field of clinical research can associate with professional organizations, this provides them with the opportunity for networking and option to continue their education through mediums like conferences, webinars, discussion groups, publications and online resources. These avenues serve as part of their clinical research training.
Certification is often a parameter used to measure professional expertise. This is based on a particular criteria that reflects skill, knowledge, educational preparation, ability and competence that are developed from experience in that area of specialization. Nurses that developed interest in clinical research and have undergone a clinical research training program can have an opportunity to be certified through the:
Society for Clinical Research Professionals, Inc. (Certified Clinical Research Professionals)
Association for Clinical Research Professionals (Certified Clinical Research Associate or Certified Clinical Research Coordinator)
This field of clinical research gives nurses a chance, an opportunity to advance themselves professionally in a field that might not have been explored by them before.
Nurses that have gone through the clinical research training, otherwise called research nurse can carry out research on the various aspects of the human health, such as illness, pharmaceutical and health care methods and treatment plans. The main aim of this research is to improve the quality of health care service delivery.
Roles of Research Nurses
They are responsible for designing and implementing research studies.
They observe procedures for treatment, collect and analyze data.
They report their research results to appropriate quarters.
They write articles and report their research findings in nursing or medical professional publications and journals.
They help in recruiting participants for studies and are involved in providing direct care for the participants.
Nurses can make use of their communication skills as well as their critical thinking skills gotten from their knowledge and experience in healthcare to further their career in this exciting way.