Dear Nurse Beth,
I am an RN (BSN) with 11 years of experience in med/surg and most recently ambulatory surgery. I am looking for a specialty change and have always been interested in research/clinical trials. In the past, whenever I saw RN research positions they always required experience. Is there anything I can do now to help me get into the field? Any class or certification? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Dear Wants to do Nursing Research
I see you've posted in the Research Nursing forum,
good, I was going to suggest that.
Training is typically on the job, and ANCC does not offer a credential, but here is a link to Association Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)
, an organization that does offer certification.
The best way to break into a new specialty is by applying persistently, and networking. It's true that many jobs
come from who you know.
I once landed a job interviewing and assessing post-op patients on Fentanyl patches through a friend who was connected with a clinical trial.
It was low-paying, but would have provided a start if I had chosen to pursue the field.
You may not know anyone directly in the field, but effective networking and activating your network helps. Read 5 Networking Myths
for some misconceptions nurses have about networking.
Always be prepared for an unexpected opportunity with a prepared Elevator Speech
- you never know when a serendipitous opportunity may present. You want to be ready when the time comes.
There are more opportunities in large cities, large teaching medical facilities, and universities. These are places that have grants for research. Register on Indeed.com and other job boards to familiarize yourself with the
types of jobs available (Clinical Research Nurse, Clinical Associate, Clinical Coordinator, Research Nurse).
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!