I am new to research and will be taking my NP boards in a few weeks. I will be the first NP on this research unit and want to advocate for how to best use my skills.
Unfortunately I'm fairly isolated and haven't met any other NP's working in research. The model proposed is for me to do RN research coordinator duties + NP duties like physicals - like a very holistic patient visit from start to finish. I'm wondering if this is too much, or would it be efficient? There's got to be some other ideas.
Can anyone help me with this?
Oct 8, '08
It depends. Can you describe the research program in more detail. How many protocols do you have open at a time? How is enrollment? Do you have any support staff for regulatory issues? Are you new to research in general? Would you be seeing non-research patients? I have known NP/Coordinators but they are utilized for research patients only.
Oct 8, '08
We have quite a few protocols open (20? 30?) but only a few are open for enrollment. Some are very complex while others are more simple, high enrollment studies. There is a person who does IRB, my supervisor, 2 RN coordinators, and myself. At present MD's do the physicals and act as investigators (this is clinical trials research).
I know about research from my graduate program but have never worked in clinical trials. When working in research I would only see research patients. I was told I could be a co-investigator but I'm not sure what that looks like.
If you do know of NP coordinators in research, how does their job differ from that of an RN?
Sorry this is all so fuzzy. Thanks so much for your help.
Oct 8, '08
If these are industry trials you would most likely be serving as a sub-I. I have never seen a non-MD (or other appropriate doctoral prepared person) be qualified by a drug company to be PI or Co-PI. The research you were exposed to in graduate school serves as a good reference point but clinical trials is a whole different ballgame. The NPs I have known who were intimatly involved in research (vs seeing patients who may be on trials) acted mainly as coordinators. They really only utilized their NP skills to things that were allowed per protocol such as physicals or minor drug adjustments. Other than that, their job description was the same as the RN coordinators. It is not the best use of the NP education IMO unless research is your passion. I guess it would help to know what kind of practice you are in. It would be easier to give you tailored advice with that information.
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