Hey there! I'm an ED nurse in a large level 1 teaching hospital. I've been doing this for 2.5 years and started here as a new grad. I really enjoyed it at first, but after awhile the newness wore off and I began to notice a lot of things that I do not like. Everything from heavy patient assignments (no laws here for ED ratios) to cliques that run the department to favoritism for cross-training to physical exhaustion beyond what I would consider reasonable for work to constantly dreading having to go in to a lack of professionalism to (what feels like) constant verbal abuse from patients. I could go on and on. I can keep up with my assignments and get a lot of compliments from my patients on my bedside manner. I have never been written up and my one and only performance review was good. I hate it though and feel like it is a toxic environment. I have absolutely no desire to go to a floor and do bedside nursing there. I've contemplated going to the ICU, but the thought of it doesn't excite me and I'm worried it would just be a temporary bandaid for a wound that will not heal. I still believe in nursing and my original reason for joining this profession - to help people, save lives, and make a difference. I've considered that it could just be the hospital that I'm at and have considered going to another ED. One of the big hurdles I'm finding is that many hospitals require rotating day/night shifts, something I'm unwilling to do (I'm unwilling to work nights, period). Combine that with 5-6 patient assignments with no consideration for acuity and it's left me feeling trapped. I even went as far as to get my California nursing license because at least there they have ED ratio laws.
With all of this in mind, I have a great deal of respect for research and went as far as to get a part-time job with a CRO doing in-home IP administration, lab draws, and source documentation. It doesn't even feel like work compared to the ED, but it's very limited on hours and is not something my CRO offers full-time. I've been doing this alongside of my ED job for almost a year now and love it. It's so easy and pays so well that I question if this is really considered research nursing. I do not sign subjects up for trials, I'm simply contacted when there is a new trial in my area that is in need of my services and my CRO sends me training material that I complete remotely. I never step foot in a hospital.
Would any experienced research nurses mind comparing and contrasting research nursing to bedside nursing? I do not want my BSN to go to waste. I'd like to find something away from the hospital setting that I can still apply my skills to, something that has comparable pay, a better schedule, less catty attitudes/more professionalism, and doesn't have the attitude that being verbally (or physically) assaulted just comes with the job. I'm passionate about research and while in nursing school, the research courses were my favorite. I'm one of those people that do not live to work, I work to live. With the way things have been for me in the ED, I find that I take so much stress home with me that it is interfering with my quality of life. I feel angry and I'm desperately searching for a better way.
Also, where would I look to find research jobs that are not hospital based? CROs? Pharm companies?
Any guidance is much appreciated.
Try a professional head-hunter agency. Pharm companies utilize them.
I have been a clinical research nurse in oncology for over 22 years. It is extremely rewarding and continues to challenge me every single day. Having said that, the pace, depending on where you work (I work at a large teaching Hospital in an outpatient setting) can be vigorous. While i do not do direct patient care (infusions, blood draws, etc), some smaller institutions require that you do all portions of a trial. Mostly, I help consent and teach patients about their trial options, assure eligibility, administer study medications, monitor for adverse events, help schedule appointments, document all aspects of the trial, help with regulatory documents, etc. You work very closely with your team to oversee the patients participation and safety. You need to able to work independently within a team, have strong assessment skills and critical thinking, be meticulous with documentation and very organized. Certifications are encouraged (OCN (Oncology certified nurse) and CCRP (certified clincal research professional) are ones i have held. You need 3-5 years experience for most jobs in Pharma, which is more managerial or monitoring and may include vast amounts of travel, but pays very well. Hope this information helps