Advanced degrees for researchers

Specialties Research


I graduated in Aug 08 and having been working in the ICU since Sept 08. I have a BSN and a previous bachelors in psychology (I worked 3 years as a research assistant in animal research). I am hoping to get in to the clinical trials research world soon. My question today is: what kind of further education would you recommend down the road. I have always (before I was in nursing) wanted to eventually get a masters and then phd. Would a MSN with NP be of any benefit in research? Is a masters in clinical research management, or something similiar, useful? What advanced degree(s) do you have? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.:D


327 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Research.

I think you need to actually get your feet wet before deciding on an advanced degree. I do know research coordinators that are NPs however they do not utilize their advanced nursing skills very often. I have looked into the clinical research degrees and spoken with some faculty in person. For me, I did not think these degrees were very useful. However, I think they may be good for someone with little research experience who has not taken advanced courses in management, planning, etc. Instead of an advanced nursing degree I chose to go the MPH route. My focus is on epi which has helped me design my own research. I am lucky enough to work in an academic setting with very supportive PIs who have allowed me to be involved in research outside prospective treatment trials (the traditional focus of coordinators in our group).


3,778 Posts

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research.

There are many BSN-PhD programs out there. Have you considered doing this, and bypassing the master's level specialty pathways (Ed., NP, CNS, etc.)? You will still take the master's capstone courses, and can tailor your PhD ed plan to include courses from other departments to complement your research interests.

If this is not an option for you, think about your research interest, and choose a master's that corresponds with that, as anc33 has done.

Do you know what you want to research yet?

Specializes in ICU (med/surgical/transplant/neuro/ent).

You know I hadn't even thought about that regarding advanced nursing degrees. With my previous degree and career that was the natural course to take - bsn-phd, and that was my plan before I went into nursing. I just didn't know how that worked in the nursing world.

My interest is neuro. I love the brain!

Right now my goal is just to get back into research. This time as a nurse. :-)

Thanks to both you and anc33 for the info!

Specializes in Nursing Education, Research, ENT, Oncology.

I'm a research nurse in a MSN program, and then I plan to get the post-master's certificate for NP. I want to be a sub-investigator on clinical trials.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Anther possibility is a Master's focused on the CNL role. That pathway could open up a lot of different career options -- both those that include the research coordination and others that would involve working on specific projects or programs. I can see that degree as a great foundtion for working with a particular medical service, department, clinic, etc. and coordinating the research and/or quality improvement being done in that environment.

Specializes in Nursing Education, Research, ENT, Oncology.

When you say CNL- do you mean clinical nurse leader?

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.
When you say CNL- do you mean clinical nurse leader?

Yes. It's an option -- and may appeal to some people because it would open up a variety of opportunities that would include research activities, but not be limited to research coordinator role only.

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