Possible to shift to clinical trials at my age?

  1. Hi Everyone:

    I'm an RN with 12 years of experience in med/surg, telemetry, and ambulatory surgery pre- and post-op. I'm interested in shifting my career to monitoring clinical trials. I have begun the first module of the online CRA course by Clinfosource.

    My question is this - will my age of almost 55 absolutely prevent me from being considered by potential employers? Yes, I know that employers would prefer to see a younger person applying. Yet in hospital nursing people are still hired to train in different specialty areas almost regardless of age. Is that the case for hiring and training for monitoring clinical trials? Or not?

    Also, is Clinfosource respected in the field as an educator of monitors/coordinators? Any information anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Kathy732
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   NurseAmy
    Hi Kathy,

    I am a clinical research monitor. I have never heard of Clinfosource. Your best bet would be to find a CRO (clinical research organization) in your area, such as Pharmanet or PPD, that specifically looks for nurses to train as entry level monitors. Most do require a bachelor's degree as well, but some companies will take an RN with a 2 year degree.

    My question is, why would you want to get into monitoring? I think monitoring is a horrible job- the travel is grueling, and the actual monitoring itself is boring and often frustrating when you have difficult sites. Most people never know about the downside of a monitoring job until they are in it. If I were you I would look into drug safety or consult nurse or research nurse positions with CROs. Those jobs are geared more to using your nursing knowledge, and very little travel is required. Those are all pretty much computer based jobs, processing adverse event cases or advising over the phone to study sites. I was in drug saftey before I took this monitoring job, and I am going back to drug safety in the very near future, I am just trying to get all my sites closed out for my current study.

    PM me if you have more questions, I don't mind sharing what I know.
  4. by   Fonenurse
    Quote from Kathy732
    Hi Everyone:

    My question is this - will my age of almost 55 absolutely prevent me from being considered by potential employers? Yes, I know that employers would prefer to see a younger person applying. Yet in hospital nursing people are still hired to train in different specialty areas almost regardless of age. Is that the case for hiring and training for monitoring clinical trials? Or not?
    Hi Kathy - I believe that any future employer would look at you for your skills and abilities first and foremost - your age is not really relevant, only your capacity to do the job. I agree with NurseAmy about you thinking carefully about the sorts of jobs to consider - monitoring isn't perhaps the first research job I would do - working as a research nurse to gain a working knowledge of the conduct of trials would be my suggestion - this will ease you from the totally clinical to the totally research world I believe.
  5. by   onc_research
    Hi nurseamy,
    I have an opportunity to work with Pfizer/KForce as a monitor. I have previous experience as a study coordinator and have considered advancing to a monitoring position. Do you know of anyone who has worked with this organization? I am told that monitoring will be only in the Central Valley of Ca, (where I live) with limited air travel. How long were you a monitor? How many sites were you responsible for?
    Just trying to get an idea from someone who has been there...
    Thank you much
  6. by   jjjoy
    (Deleted and started new thread about monitoring)
    Last edit by jjjoy on Aug 9, '07
  7. by   jjjoy
    And in regard to the OPs question... I don't see why you wouldn't be able to get into clinical research regardless of your age. In the little bit of research I've done so far, there was enough turnover and demand such that age didn't seem like it would be major obstacle. On the other hand, some research nurse roles have very different expectations from the average clinical setting that might lead some hiring persoonnel to question whether someone who has thrived in the clinical setting understands what they are getting into and will take to the different environment and demands.

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