Are there any nurses out there doing molecular research?

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    Hey there! I'm applying to NP programs right now and was wondering what kind of opportunities are there for nurses in the molecular/basic research field? I know there are a lot of nurses doing clinical research, but I am more interested in working in a wet lab working at the microscopic (or smaller) level. I did research as an undergraduate and I enjoyed it a lot. Anyone in a similar situation?
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    I personally do not know any nurses who do bench research. I am sure there are some out there but most of the people I interact with in our labs have enginerring/chemistry/biology PhDs or are working towards them. All of our MDs who do basic science have their PhDs as well. Best of luck.
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    Hi! I am second degree new grad that works in the ICU (It will be 1 year in the middle of Sept!). However, my previous career was as a research assistant at a university research center. I mostly did behavioral characterization and ethanol neurotoxicity studies on mice, but I also did some basic bench work with that (ie sample preparation,staining,pcr,genotyping,cell culture). I really enjoyed that, but with a bachelors degree you could only go so far. Thus here I am in the nursing field, but I am trying to get back into the research field as a nurse.

    I did have a professor in nursing school that was doing research at the cellular level (and publishing it!). He had his PhD and the ever important grant/money to fund his research. So there are nurse researchers that don't necessarily work in clinical trials, but I bet most (but don't quote me!) work in the academic setting. If you can write a grant and get it funded (and keep it funded), you can work on almost anything! I would suggest looking at various Phd programs and see if any would support you doing your work on basic sciences instead of strictly clinical.

    Since I am looking into leaving the bedside and going into research as a nurse, I have been deciding which way to to go regarding advanced nursing degrees and several people have suggested bypassing NP and doing BSN-PhD. Don't know if that's the path I'll take, but I thought I might throw that out there.

    Of course, I'm new to the world of nursing and nursing research, so I don't know how helpful this is or how accurate. However, I hope this sparks some ideas or whatnot. Good Luck!:wink2:
  5. 0
    Quote from ThanksForAllTheFish!
    Hi! I am second degree new grad that works in the ICU (It will be 1 year in the middle of Sept!). However, my previous career was as a research assistant at a university research center. I mostly did behavioral characterization and ethanol neurotoxicity studies on mice, but I also did some basic bench work with that (ie sample preparation,staining,pcr,genotyping,cell culture). I really enjoyed that, but with a bachelors degree you could only go so far. Thus here I am in the nursing field, but I am trying to get back into the research field as a nurse.

    I did have a professor in nursing school that was doing research at the cellular level (and publishing it!). He had his PhD and the ever important grant/money to fund his research. So there are nurse researchers that don't necessarily work in clinical trials, but I bet most (but don't quote me!) work in the academic setting. If you can write a grant and get it funded (and keep it funded), you can work on almost anything! I would suggest looking at various Phd programs and see if any would support you doing your work on basic sciences instead of strictly clinical.

    Since I am looking into leaving the bedside and going into research as a nurse, I have been deciding which way to to go regarding advanced nursing degrees and several people have suggested bypassing NP and doing BSN-PhD. Don't know if that's the path I'll take, but I thought I might throw that out there.

    Of course, I'm new to the world of nursing and nursing research, so I don't know how helpful this is or how accurate. However, I hope this sparks some ideas or whatnot. Good Luck!:wink2:
    awesome. Thanks for the input!
  6. 0
    My focus is in social research, so my 'lab' is out in the community, but...
    I second the motion to look at BSN-PhD programs if you know your main interest lies in research. NP programs are practice-based, where the PhD is a research-based terminal degree.

    Regarding what was stated above on grants: federal grants are not so easily obtained as one would think (oh, how I wish though ). They usually require the PI to have a PhD, to have done some respectable previous published work, and to be able to show that they have all the elements required to produce a scientifically sound product. The footwork done to be able to show all of this, begins with scientific work done in your doctoral program, where you will do pilot studies, publish manuscripts, present posters, etc., while working under a mentor. All of this culminates to your dissertation, which will hopefully set you up for future research after you are done.

    If there is a particular researcher whose work you really admire, whose work matches your own interests, I would suggest applying at their institution's PhD program, so you can work under them.

    Otherwise, if you wish to work as a RA in a lab, you can do that with a BSN, so the NP won't help you much there.


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