What is a Clinical Trials Research Nurse?

Clinical Trial Research NurseIf you would like to enter the field of nursing, but you would prefer to take advantage of unique opportunities, you may be interested in a careers as a Clinical Trials Research Nurse.  Clinical Trials Research Nursing is a relatively new specialty practice that was just recently developed by the National Institutes of Health in 2007. Since the specialty practice is so new to the field of nursing, many licensed nurses and students who are planning to study nursing are not familiar with the duties of a Clinical Trials Research Nurse.

The Primary Roles of a Clinical Trials Research Nurse

As the title suggests, a Clinical Trials Research Nurse is a clinical staff nurse whose primary role is to care for research participants who are involved in clinical trials. In addition to providing clinical care for the participant, a clinical trials nurse will give the patient informed consent and ensure that protocol is being followed at each and every step of the trial. The main roles assumed by a specialist within the area of clinical trial research include: assuring the safety of the participant, maintaining informed consent, accurate data collection, data recording, data management, study coordination and complying with regulatory requirements.

What Settings do Clinical Trial Research Nurses Work in?

Clinical Trials nurses will work in settings where research and study procedures are done. Typically, clinical research settings include colleges, clinical centers and even hospitals. While a specialist in this field of nursing provide care for a wide range of patients, the studies that are being performed may include tests on the administration of drugs, the performance of a procedure or surgery, assessments on the etiology of disease or delivering specific types of intervention. Care delivery depends on the type of studies being conducted.

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How to Become a Clinical Trials Research Specialist in Nursing

While the specialty is a new one, a Model of Care has been developed by the NIH that all specialists are expected to follow. Since the model of care is specific to the field, there is a certification that prospective nursing professionals need to earn to work in these settings. You will need to earn your degree in nursing, and also earn an advanced degree in nursing with a focus on research to pursue a certification. One you have the necessary schooling under your belt, you will need to get two years of experience in professional development before you can take the certification test through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. After you meet these requirements, you can apply for the ACRP certification.

Clinical studies are conducted on a regular basis to gain understanding on a disease, look for new treatment options or to test new pharmaceuticals. As health care technologies advance and more is discovered, more and more clinical trials nursing professionals will be needed. If you are interested in working with a unique niche of patients in a research setting, a Clinical Trials Research Nurse may be a great specialty to pursue.