Would love to be Pharm research nurse - not sure how.

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    I'm in my second semester of an ASN RN program. I have a 3.8 GPA, and I really love school and clinicals. I plan to work as a staff nurse for a year or two after graduation to gain experience, and I plan to go on to get my BSN right away - and possibly my MSN down the line (I'm still young). I loved Pharmacology and would absolutely love to do something directly w/ Pharm in my nursing career, possibly working for a drug company or something like that. I've done some research online but haven't been able to come up with anything concrete. Anyone have any suggestions for me? Is this there even a market for RNs in Pharm research?
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    You still have time...start to investigate job titles of Clinical Research Coordinator (most but not all are RNs and NPs) and Clinical Research Associate (most are RNs who left hospital nursing)...you will find information about your interest. One of the largest professional organizations for the specialty is Association of Clinical Research Professionals. They also provide certification for both CRCs and CRAs.
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    Just to offer a quick answer to your initial question about the market for RNs in Pharm research--we are definitely in demand. Look for positions seeking clinical research coordinators or clinical research nurses. CRA (clinical research associate) positions are meant for people who have worked as research coordinators or nurses for several years, so that's not where you want to spend time searching. Universities are probably the best place to start--I got my first research job at a university here in California.


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