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Any clinical research nurses out there?

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by Researchnurse Researchnurse (New Member) New Member

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I am a newbie research nurse; I am employed by a Hemophilia Treatment Center within a university, and we have several ongoing studies as well as a CDC registry to maintain. So far so good! I too love the autonomy! Plus, working in a university setting affords many benefits compared to a hospital. Lots of holidays, vacation time, no weekends, etc...Oh, and I will have the opportunity to travel! How cool is that?!?

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Hello everyone,

I very recently applied to a research nurse position, hoping to find my niche in nursing and having to leave the bedside due to an ankle injury. I have put so much thought into making this change as I've only had the 1 nursing job, straight out of college and am a little hesitant to change.

My biggest concern is am I going to like this job? (if I get it) and what exactly is a typical work day like. I'm basically introverted, friendly, like to have a typically predictable day, and work at my own pace, work well alone or in a group. I am good with computers, very detail oriented, and I don't mind paperwork and organizing. If anyone out there has any input or advice I would greatly appreciate it.

I've been working 12-hr/3-day work weeks for a while now and that's pretty much the biggest perk that's kept me at the chaotic bedside nursing job I have and I've had to really push myself into considering the mon-fri world. But if I don't have to have anxiety of going to work the night before (like I always do now, hoping my day won't be horrible) I wouldn't mind getting up every day to go to work.

I'm basically trying to see if being a research nurse may be a good fit for me, before I jump in! If anyone out there has any input or advice I would greatly appreciate it. :)

-BerryRN

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

4,187 Posts; 30,178 Profile Views

Actually you have wonderful attributes for a research nurse. I love it. I work in translational clinical research at a university. LOVE it. It will break my heart when i have to leave and get a real job again.

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6 Posts; 642 Profile Views

Actually you have wonderful attributes for a research nurse. I love it. I work in translational clinical research at a university. LOVE it. It will break my heart when i have to leave and get a real job again.

Thank you CrunchRN! I'm hoping it'll be something I will love too. All I want at the minimum is to have a job I don't mind going to...having a job that I love would be a dream!

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6 Posts; 642 Profile Views

CrunchRN, (or any other research nurse! ;))do you mind telling me basic things you love about your job?

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283 Posts; 4,628 Profile Views

I am a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator and I, too, love my job.

What I love most about it is the autonomy... an autonomy I thought I'd have to give up with an RN job after getting used to it during APRN training. I also love the perks- steady hours (my training is in midwifery), a light work week, travel, and all the little perks of private sector (easily taken vacations, bonuses, etc)

This was my first job out of nursing school, and I always knew I couldn't do bedside nursing. But I do miss catching babies :o)

My salary is comparable to APRNs with a similar level of experience.

Eventually I will have to leave because there's not much room for growth in this field (IMO)

Here's a great article about what we do:

http://216.147.199.31/Monitor/2007September/duane.pdf

Good luck!!!

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6 Posts; 642 Profile Views

I am a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator and I, too, love my job.

What I love most about it is the autonomy... an autonomy I thought I'd have to give up with an RN job after getting used to it during APRN training. I also love the perks- steady hours (my training is in midwifery), a light work week, travel, and all the little perks of private sector (easily taken vacations, bonuses, etc)

This was my first job out of nursing school, and I always knew I couldn't do bedside nursing. But I do miss catching babies :o)

My salary is comparable to APRNs with a similar level of experience.

Eventually I will have to leave because there's not much room for growth in this field (IMO)

Here's a great article about what we do:

http://216.147.199.31/Monitor/2007September/duane.pdf

Good luck!!!

Thanks for your response lovingpecola! It really helps to know the perks of this job to see if it appeals more to me. I do love working autonomously. Working at the bedside has really put a strain on me physically and emotionally. I am still trying to recover from my achilles tendonitis and haven't been able to work on the floor. I am still waiting to hear back from my interview for the research nurse position.

Is being a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator much different from a "Research Nurse"?

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

4,187 Posts; 30,178 Profile Views

Same thing!

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85 Posts; 2,702 Profile Views

I am a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator and I, too, love my job.

What I love most about it is the autonomy... an autonomy I thought I'd have to give up with an RN job after getting used to it during APRN training. I also love the perks- steady hours (my training is in midwifery), a light work week, travel, and all the little perks of private sector (easily taken vacations, bonuses, etc)

This was my first job out of nursing school, and I always knew I couldn't do bedside nursing. But I do miss catching babies :o)

My salary is comparable to APRNs with a similar level of experience.

Eventually I will have to leave because there's not much room for growth in this field (IMO)

Here's a great article about what we do:

http://216.147.199.31/Monitor/2007September/duane.pdf

Good luck!!!

In response to there not being much room for growth in this field: have you considered becoming a monitor for one of the drug companies, to oversee study sites etc? I am looking that direction myself, after I get several more years of CRC work under my belt of course!

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anc33 has 7 years experience and specializes in Oncology, Research.

327 Posts; 5,352 Profile Views

In response to there not being much room for growth in this field: have you considered becoming a monitor for one of the drug companies, to oversee study sites etc? I am looking that direction myself, after I get several more years of CRC work under my belt of course!

I have been in this field for over 5 years now and feel that there are numerous opportunities for growth. I am personally trying to decide what my next move is but there are so many directions I can see my self going in. There is also protocol development, project management, regulatory, grants, working for IRBs, patient advocacy, QA/QC (internally), monitoring... Also, research jobs vary greatly depending on whether you work in a clinic, academic institution, phase I units, cooperative group, NIH or pharma. Most of us on here work on drug studies. Device studies are their own animal and require specialized knowledge. I used to work in a phase I unit where the bulk of my job was patient care and data collection/entry. In my current position I manage most aspects of my trials. We do have regulatory and grants personnel but ultimately I have to know what is going on with my trials at all times. I have recently started writing protocols and love doing that. One day I would like to move into a position were I could help with INDs and NDAs and other regulatory oversight. I really think this is a superb field and see myself here for the rest of my career.

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The place I'm applying to is a large teaching hospital/university. There are many different subspecialties within the research department, each one with slightly different job descriptions. I applied to pretty much every opening they had, so I don't really know what to expect my exact job duties would be. I'm just trying to "jump in" since the general idea sounds appealing to me and I hope for the best. How much hands-on patient care is there to expect versus "office work"? I know it probably varies depending on which area you work in, but I'm just trying to obtain more information on what to expect the working day and environment would be like.

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anc33 has 7 years experience and specializes in Oncology, Research.

327 Posts; 5,352 Profile Views

The patient care aspect of the job is highly variable depending on how your unit runs and your position. My first research job was 75% hands on care and 25% paperwork. That was in phase I where protocols are very procedure heavy (lots of blood draws, ECGs, etc). In my curring position I only spend 25% of my time with patients. When I see them in clinic I interview them to assess AEs, order labs and other tests, prep their drug orders, do teaching, administer any protocol specific cognitive testing, etc. It is very watered down version of direct patient care which a lot of people dislike. On the other hand I know of many research nurse jobs where they are very patient care focused, especially those in hospital based research units.

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