Marketability of RNs in clinical research positions.

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    I'm fairly new to clinical research - currently working as CRC at an academic setting for about 1 yr and want to explore different options in this industry - possibly get into project management in the pharmaceutical industry or work as an independent contractor in the future once I have more experience. In 2004, I was accepted to an accelerated BSN program, deferred, then utimately decided not to pursue it at the time due to personal reasons. Now I am thinking about re-applying to an accelerated BSN program, but would like to work primarily as a research nurse coordinator once I get my degree. Are nurses more marketable in terms of growth potential in clinical research?
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    I would say that being an RN would definitely make you more marketable. The majority of the CRCs ay my university are RN, BSNs. I also know many monitors and clinical scientists who are RNs. You do not say what your educational background is, but I am assuming at least a bachelors. While you may be able to enter those positions without the RN it will take years of experience. Having the RN will get you there much quicker.
    Fonenurse likes this.
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    Quote from anc33
    I would say that being an RN would definitely make you more marketable. The majority of the CRCs ay my university are RN, BSNs. I also know many monitors and clinical scientists who are RNs. You do not say what your educational background is, but I am assuming at least a bachelors. While you may be able to enter those positions without the RN it will take years of experience. Having the RN will get you there much quicker.
    Thanks for your response - however, I'm kind of torn in pursuing this path because what I ultimately want to do is get my RN, BSN via accelerated route then go back into doing primarily clinical research full-time versus bedside nursing (maybe I'll do this on a part-time basis for extra income). Is it worth it to purse this degree just to go primarily into clinical research?
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    Yes. I too went to an accelerated BSN program. I worked bedside for 9 months before I went into research. I like knowing that I have something to fall back on if research positions dry up in my area.
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    I am curious, ANC33, do you need a BSN to get a research position? I already have my BS in Community Health and MPH. I want to do clinical research, but would rather get my RN through the ADN program near by than the accelerated BSN program. Are there jobs available in research with an ADN? How do you get into research?
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    While most of the people I know in research who are RNs have BSNs I do know a few who have ASNs. However, an ASN combined with your MPH would make you very marketable in research. The easiest way to get into research is probably through a large research university. There are over a hundred coordinators at the Uni where I work with 12 in our dept alone. You could find an entry level position in a pharma company's phase I site or at a company such as Covance. You could also break in as a data manager or assistant while you are in school for your RN. The jobs are out there but you have to look hard for them.
    MomenTs likes this.
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    Thanks for the information. I have been struggling with the ADN vs BSN decision.
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    Quote from scastillo1
    I am curious, ANC33, do you need a BSN to get a research position? I already have my BS in Community Health and MPH. I want to do clinical research, but would rather get my RN through the ADN program near by than the accelerated BSN program. Are there jobs available in research with an ADN? How do you get into research?

    I am also a BSN, RN with minor in Psych. I donot have any clinical experience under my belt beside my college experience. I have been thinking a lot about pursuing NURSING RESEARCH as my career instead of bedside nursing. I feel very clueless and lost. I have been trying to get information about nursing research online. They are helpful, but not very helpful. I wish, I had a mentor who would point me in the right direction or someone who would share some information and shed some light about this career. Didn't know who to ask or where to turn, so I'm here. Someone please give me pointers, tips or any information that will help me land a job in Nursing research very soon. I really want to start my career going in this field very soon.

    Thank you and God bless. Hoping to hear some positive replies with helpful information, tips and pointers.
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    Any information given will be very helpful.

    Or please share your experience, about how you went about to land your current job in nursing research?

    What position should the BEGINNERS be looking for/thinking about if they want to start a career in nursing research?

    What are the requirements?

    What is the title given to beginning nurse researchers (is there something like that?)

    What are the best places to apply to? (teaching hospitals, WHO, UN, organisations etc?)

    I will ask more questions to clarify as I come along. I hope you all won't mind. It will surely help me and hopefully many more like me, who are just taking baby steps to this field.

    Thank you again.
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    I will share my experiences and try to answer any other questions you have. I started out in a phase I center associated with a university. Phase I research is much different from the other phases of research in that you are dealing with healthy subjects for the most part and the majority of drugs are being tested for the first time in man. In my experience the environment is faster paced than in later phases of research. You also have to be prepared for anything since these are novel agents. I know of a few phase I centers attached to universities however there are many for-profit centers out there that do high volumes of studies. I have found that it is fairly easy to break into phase I as many places are looking for cheap labor. In fact, many employ EMTs or unlicensed personnel to keep their costs low and their profits high.

    Later phase research is a completely different animal. You can find positions in universities as well as doctors offices or hospitals. Usually they are looking for people with 2 or more years of experience in a certain area (onc, GI, neuro, etc). Most postings I seen have been for BSNs, but I work with many ASNs as well as non-nurse coordinators. Your title depends on your institution we have "RN Specialist" coordinators and non-RN "Data Managers" in my department but they may also be clinical research coordinators, research nurses, etc.

    I know I probably didn't answer all of your questions but feel free to ask more. Best of luck.
    jensfbay likes this.


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