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You don't need to be certified to be a monitor although most monitors take their CCRA after two years on the job. Getting a CRA job is all about networking with the project managers and monitors for your current trials.
I actually really love my job as a study coordinator. I get to do a bit of everything including writing protocols. I know I will outgrow this job eventually. If I haven't found a management position where I currently work before then I would love to make the jump to FDA safety or regulatory officer.
Hmm, I had not thought of that. Do you know how to get that type of certification?
I am 55 years old. I became a nurse late in life (late bloomer!). In my 2.5 years as a nurse I have advanced quickly from Med/Surg to Telemetry and now do per diems in PCU, Step-Down and so forth. I am looking for new horizons however. Research nursing really appeals to me for the long-term until I retire (maybe at 67 or 70 years of age). Perhaps do research full-time and other types of bedside care per diem for that side of me that likes the involvement with patient care. I have my BSN. Could you tell me what type of additional education I would need to step into a research role and the type of research positions out there. I've heard positions such as study coordinator, data collector but I don't know much about any of the possible roles.
There are a variety of roles and pathways for nurses in clinical research- and you will find as many "job titles" being used out there. In fact, the advanced practice scope of study coordinating is expanding and jobs are expanding. I'll share my "path"
1. BS- Art Education- taught art for years at elementary and high school level and continue to practice as an artist- painter.
2. BSN later - to make a living! Worked as a CCU nurse
3. Recruited to be a STUDY NURSE for an NIH study.
4. Left institution to start my own Site Management ORganization- offering coordinator services to non-academic study PIs (doing clinical trials).
5. Returned to University- as a STUDY COORDINATOR and database manager
6. Advanced to a STUDY COORDINATOR in a different division with opportunities to be a "SUBPROJECT COORDINATOR" for an NIH Coordinating Center- over time- increased my salary - worked with NIH, Study Groups and Multiple Sites, did some monitoring at the sites and did some internal data monitoring for Data Safety Monitoring Boards.
7. Advanced to "ADMINISTRATOR" of the NIH Coordinating Center - managing study development, site selection, monitoring, contracting with monitors, developing PI meetings, account management ($13 million grant).
9. Recruited to develop a Department of Research at a large Private Practice group (13 MDs)- hiring several research employees. Job title "DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH"
10. Worked as a consultant for University School of Nursing- developing a Clinical Research Management Program for distance learning for International Study Coordinators- through a grant. Published multiple articles.
11. Hired to be an Academic Instructor at the University School of Nursing to develop and teach courses - in the Clinical Research Management Certificate and MSN Program.
12. Expanding activities to include committee membership in several professional organizations helping to solidify the role of Specialty Scope of Practice for research nurses.
I do want to say this- some coordinators feel that the natural progression is from study coordinating to monitoring for industry (pharmaceutical or contract research organization). (If you like to travel). However, that is not the only progression. It depends on your personal professional goals. Seek mentoring to help you determine your natural leanings. Seek academic education in clinical research- that is now available to you- it wasn't for me, which is why I obtained an MSPH in Epidemiology at a School of Public Health. Now you can get an MSN (and even a DNP in clinical research).