Any RN's working in the research field???

  1. I am just wondering if any RN's out there could give me some info about their jobs involving research. I have heard of BSN/RN's working in the field of research, but would like to know more about it - like what are my options? I am working on my degree in nursing, love patients but also would like to consider my other love which is research. SG
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from enfermeraSG
    I am just wondering if any RN's out there could give me some info about their jobs involving research. I have heard of BSN/RN's working in the field of research, but would like to know more about it - like what are my options? I am working on my degree in nursing, love patients but also would like to consider my other love which is research. SG

    Here is a post I did two years ago..obviously I am in the field (3.5 years now) and love it!
    Michelle

    I noticed that there have been a couple recent postings asking for information and I thought I would respond.

    The best way to get started in research if you don't have a BSN is to seek a position as a research nurse or research coordinator with a large University/academic type setting. In order to get a position with Pharmaceutical research you will need some type of Bachelor of Science degree. Pharm Co. positions require extensive travel but excellent pay and benefits.

    I have been a clinical research coordinator for a year and a half..I will be going for my Certification in another few months. You don't always have to have experience to break into the field if you start with a University setting. Let me know if you have more questions and I will try to answer them.
  4. by   lady_jezebel
    Is nursing "research" simply a lot of paperwork? Do you make sure that study data is collected correctly, and then do audits?

    Any problem solving?
  5. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from lady_jezebel
    Is nursing "research" simply a lot of paperwork? Do you make sure that study data is collected correctly, and then do audits?

    Any problem solving?
    In my position as a Clinical Research Coordinator I collect the data and do the paperwork. By collecting data, I mean seeing patients-- scheduling study visits,taking histories, drawing blood, giving vaccines/medications, collecting patient diary information, etc. All the data is collected and reported on case report forms which are filled out/mailed/collected by a study monitor. The study monitor (CRA) ensures the quality of the data before the final forms are submitted to the sponsor of the study. The monitoring company are the people who most generally do audit type work, although we do sometimes conduct internal audits in case the FDA decides to pay a visit.
  6. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from lady_jezebel
    Any problem solving?
    I am not sure exactly what you mean by problem solving..in what sense and at what point in the process? Research always involves a question, however, we may not get that answer until months/years down the road after all data has been collected and analyzed, depending on the study.
  7. by   ayact
    Hi, I am also interested in research, but my interest is not in clinical but is in nursing. I mean, I am not interested in working for drug companies or any other profit organizations. I want to do nursing research. Does anyone know what the job market in nursing research is like?
  8. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from ayact
    Hi, I am also interested in research, but my interest is not in clinical but is in nursing. I mean, I am not interested in working for drug companies or any other profit organizations. I want to do nursing research. Does anyone know what the job market in nursing research is like?
    If you don't want to work with drug companies, you should seek a job in the academic field (i.e. for a University setting, usually one that supports a lot of research or is affiliated with a teaching hospital). Although I am in this setting I have worked on pharmaceutical studies, although I am not working FOR them.

    The job market is variable. Many times there is a bit of demand since it is sometimes hard to recruit nurses into a demanding and often lower-paying job. Much research is funded by grants, so it depends on how agressively monies to conduct research are pursued. Check into some local university/teaching hospitals and/or their websites and check the postings. They will usually be listed under Research Nurse or Research Coordinator. Good luck!
  9. by   ayact
    Quote from BeachNurse
    If you don't want to work with drug companies, you should seek a job in the academic field (i.e. for a University setting, usually one that supports a lot of research or is affiliated with a teaching hospital). Although I am in this setting I have worked on pharmaceutical studies, although I am not working FOR them.

    The job market is variable. Many times there is a bit of demand since it is sometimes hard to recruit nurses into a demanding and often lower-paying job. Much research is funded by grants, so it depends on how agressively monies to conduct research are pursued. Check into some local university/teaching hospitals and/or their websites and check the postings. They will usually be listed under Research Nurse or Research Coordinator. Good luck!
    Thank you, BeachNurse! In my impression working with drug companies looks helping them making money out of patients That's why I said "for them". But you seem you work with them but not for them. That sounds good to me. I am interested in health behaviors and risk management, which are not the kind of research that drug companies deal with, I guess. I will look into universities/teaching hospitals. Thanks for your advice!
  10. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from ayact
    Thank you, BeachNurse! In my impression working with drug companies looks helping them making money out of patients That's why I said "for them". But you seem you work with them but not for them. That sounds good to me. I am interested in health behaviors and risk management, which are not the kind of research that drug companies deal with, I guess. I will look into universities/teaching hospitals. Thanks for your advice!
    I agree with you there on the drug companies making money from patients. I have seen some frivilous studies done when I worked for a private practice for a SHORT while. I think that doing pharmaceutical studies are beneficial when you are talking about the types of drugs used to treat serious, chronic or potentially fatal diseases (as opposed to some over-marketed heartburn medication!). Good luck to you and I hope you find what you are looking for.
  11. by   vacation
    Quote from BeachNurse
    In my position as a Clinical Research Coordinator I collect the data and do the paperwork. By collecting data, I mean seeing patients-- scheduling study visits,taking histories, drawing blood, giving vaccines/medications, collecting patient diary information, etc. All the data is collected and reported on case report forms which are filled out/mailed/collected by a study monitor. The study monitor (CRA) ensures the quality of the data before the final forms are submitted to the sponsor of the study. The monitoring company are the people who most generally do audit type work, although we do sometimes conduct internal audits in case the FDA decides to pay a visit.
    I am looking for a different path in nursing. Research nursing sounds interesting to me. I have a ASN degree, and almost 4 years experience as a nurse. I will try and contact a teaching university (where to start??). Also, what is your certification and how do you go about getting it? Any specific education/experience needed? What are the hours/pay/typical day like? Is this hard to get into? I am really wanting to get away from staff nursing, and would also like to get away from working nights, weekends, holidays. Just looking for a more "normal" schedule (M-F, days). Thanks.
  12. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from vacation
    I am looking for a different path in nursing. Research nursing sounds interesting to me. I have a ASN degree, and almost 4 years experience as a nurse. I will try and contact a teaching university (where to start??). Also, what is your certification and how do you go about getting it? Any specific education/experience needed? What are the hours/pay/typical day like? Is this hard to get into? I am really wanting to get away from staff nursing, and would also like to get away from working nights, weekends, holidays. Just looking for a more "normal" schedule (M-F, days). Thanks.
    Hi there. To find a teaching university, your best bet would be to find a university that is affiliated with a medical school. My certification is Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. You have to take a test, but to be eligible to sit for the exam you must have 2 years of research experience as a RN. You don't have to have the certification to obtain the position, though. This website might be helpful to you:
    http://www.acrpnet.org/education/examrev/index.html

    It is nice having a "normal working hours" job. The pay probably varies by location but in general it is a bit less than what staff nurses make. The good thing is that these positions are usually salaried, and there is no "clocking" in and out. You get paid for the work you do, not your time. There are occaisons where I have worked overtime due to a long study visit, but there are so many times that I come in early/leave early when I need to and not penalized for it. I can attend many educational activities on my workday time, as well get free CEU's and paid trips to investigator meetings. It's not too bad at all!
  13. by   hypnotic_nurse
    I've worked in research since the early 90s. Other than a part time job, I have never worked in a hospital.

    I started out doing pharmaceutical trials, now I work in NIH sponsored trials.

    Some research groups are all about the money. Others are about the research with the secondary aim of helping patients who otherwise can't afford the meds (I've worked in both).

    If you are interested in nursing research and writing your own grants, you will need a PhD. Or you will need a PhD who is willing to head up your project. Right now the NIH is really pushing grants written by nurses. So those of you with PhDs, please look at the NIH website. They will even work with you to get your grant written.

    The pharmaceutical trials were fun; mostly I did long term studies, so I got to know my patients. In general, you get to go on a trip to someplace pretty nifty to learn how to do the study. When you get home, usually the MD needs you to do everything including tell him/her when to do the physical exam (except for the few who are micromanagers, and I'd suggest NOT working for them). The work is flexible (depending on the study; I've done some where I carried a pager and saw the pts in the ER and then stayed for 8 hours; on another study, the patient had to be seen at the same time of day, every day, 7 days a week). The few times I've had to work holidays, it was never the whole day.

    If you work for a private research group, there is often the possibility of bonuses if you do well with recruitment and get things in on time. Many universities won't allow employees to accept a bonus, however; but then again, the benefits are wonderful through a university (if you are worried about retirement and like 5 weeks vacation a year, a university is the way to go).

    When I got tired of for-profit studies, and needed more of a challenge, I started working with nonprofit studies; NIH grants and nonfunded studies. These are much more diverse in nature and I see everyone from infants to elderly and work with over 90 different protocols.

    You tend to get much more respect as a research nurse because the MDs/PhDs are depending on you heavily, and there is a lot of personal interaction. There is a LOT of paper involved, but also a nice mix of patient contact.

    And you don't need certification; I've been offered any job I've applied for. These jobs are also sometimes open to non-nurses, as well (that's how I got into nursing -- my research employer told me they could pay me double if I got my RN).
  14. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    I've worked in research since the early 90s. Other than a part time job, I have never worked in a hospital.

    I started out doing pharmaceutical trials, now I work in NIH sponsored trials.

    Some research groups are all about the money. Others are about the research with the secondary aim of helping patients who otherwise can't afford the meds (I've worked in both).

    If you are interested in nursing research and writing your own grants, you will need a PhD. Or you will need a PhD who is willing to head up your project. Right now the NIH is really pushing grants written by nurses. So those of you with PhDs, please look at the NIH website. They will even work with you to get your grant written.

    The pharmaceutical trials were fun; mostly I did long term studies, so I got to know my patients. In general, you get to go on a trip to someplace pretty nifty to learn how to do the study. When you get home, usually the MD needs you to do everything including tell him/her when to do the physical exam (except for the few who are micromanagers, and I'd suggest NOT working for them). The work is flexible (depending on the study; I've done some where I carried a pager and saw the pts in the ER and then stayed for 8 hours; on another study, the patient had to be seen at the same time of day, every day, 7 days a week). The few times I've had to work holidays, it was never the whole day.

    If you work for a private research group, there is often the possibility of bonuses if you do well with recruitment and get things in on time. Many universities won't allow employees to accept a bonus, however; but then again, the benefits are wonderful through a university (if you are worried about retirement and like 5 weeks vacation a year, a university is the way to go).

    When I got tired of for-profit studies, and needed more of a challenge, I started working with nonprofit studies; NIH grants and nonfunded studies. These are much more diverse in nature and I see everyone from infants to elderly and work with over 90 different protocols.

    You tend to get much more respect as a research nurse because the MDs/PhDs are depending on you heavily, and there is a lot of personal interaction. There is a LOT of paper involved, but also a nice mix of patient contact.

    And you don't need certification; I've been offered any job I've applied for. These jobs are also sometimes open to non-nurses, as well (that's how I got into nursing -- my research employer told me they could pay me double if I got my RN).
    I personally enjoy the NIH studies (I have 2 at the moment) also. I really didn't like the private sector work, as it was all money-driven and the studies are "fluffy"....not like the ones I do here for Pediatric HIV/AIDS research--that really help people. I forgot to mention that MD/research nurse interaction: you really do get more respect, and in some cases I have felt treated as an equal! I always feel very appreciated my docs. Another bonus...thanks hypnotic nurse for adding to the conversation.

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