I think it is important that study coordinators continue to expand their "nursing" roles while working as study coordinators or research nurses. The scope of practice for these nurses should include the investigation of a variety of nursing and multi-disciplinary issues - within the practice.
For instance- sub-studies by nurses within clinical trials can be proposed.
Research on the practice of study coordinator roles and activities should be expanded.
Exploration of the "ethical decision-making" activities of clinical research nurses is important.
Improving informed consent processes and informing "the bedside" on best practices for informed consenting (beyond- "just sign here before your heart cath") should be contributed by study coordinators.
Assessment of comprehension in informed consenting can be expanded and studied.
Leaders in the scope and practice of clinical research nursing have emerged- such as the NIH Clinical Research Nurse 2010 and the ONS Core Competencies for Research Nursing. New programs offering academic degrees and certification for study coordinators (nurse and non-nurse) are emerging and becoming improved by the Consortium of Academic Programs in Clinical Research (CoAPCR). A new professional organization of Clinical Research Nurses- International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN) has emerged.
It won't be long- and new pathways for targeted advanced study for research nurses will emerge in nursing schools that allow for terminal degrees that include a focus on the management and leadership of clinical trials and transdisciplinary clinical research- at the DNP and PhD level within nursing schools (not just Schools of Public Health).
This is a great time for Clinical Research Nurses and Study Coordinators.