I am a RN with 26 years of nursing. 20 years in the PACU/ICU at a major city hospital Level One Trauma facility. Recently, the hospital closed and I am now a displaced worker with federal employee benefits. Before I go back to the job market I am trying pursuing some extra credit courses. I am interested in taking a position in clinical research. My question should I take a CRC course that is now being offered for $1600 for six Saturdays. Or should I just try with my present resume which has no research experience and get a job. I am presently working on my BS degree although I am not sure if it will be in informatics or nursing. What is the job market like for Clinical Research Coordinators. The CRC course program looks good interms of preparation and they do have interviewing for a CRC position in the course schedule. I just wonder if it is feasible to do the course now which is offered once a year when there is so much going on now and I am also concern about the course fee.
Sep 20, '01
I strongly suggest you do some "informational interviewing." Research your job market to determine what companies hire these nurses, and make appointments with the people who do the hiring of clinical research coordinators, for the sole purpose of picking their brains. Find out what they're looking for, and what you can do to meet their requirements, then go out and do what they say.
Sep 20, '01
Mluncheon, I am a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator currently not working in research. I am a travel nurse at present. I broke into research as an LPN. Fortunately, I had a great mentor and teacher who moved me right into her office and taught me how to do research. After 2 1/2 years, I returned to school and became an RN, worked on a tele floor for a year and eventually returned to the very same Research Coordinator position I had left. Then I took the Certification exam. I now have 4 years of research experience. I would recommend you go to a big university hospital and see what is open. The certification for research coordinators is the only one that requires 2 years of full-time experience before you can sit for the exam. So, employers don't always expect someone to have experience in research. The fact that you have so much clinical experience will help you. Try to find a job in an area that you have experience in. The qualities needed to work in research are to be detail-oriented, neat, and have alot of tenacity. There are books that will help you learn. A very good one to start with is "Protecting Study Volunteers in Research" by Dunn and Chadwick. Go to www.acrpnet.org
Also the FDA website where all the regulations for conducting research are located. The research industry is set to explode with new projects due to the mapping of the human genome. You really shouldn't have too much trouble finding a position if you are intested in research. There is a new (and disturbing) tendency to hire secretary types to coordinate research projects. (However, you do not need to have a nursing degree to be certified as a coordinator.) They don't have to pay them as much as an RN. But I can't see that working out too well in the end. The management of the projects are monitored closely by the pharmaceutical companies who are paying the MDs to conduct the research. I think the $1600 is a bit steep as you can learn on your own for free. If you can get your hands on a CCRC prep course handbook, it has most everything you need to know. There are magazines you can read. One is "Research Practitioner". Hope this helps and Good Luck!