areas in nursing research

Specialties Research


Hi! I was wondering if anyone could elaborate more on the areas of nursing research.

I ask this question because I like to read journals (mostly journals related to dermatology / skin pharmacology) and whenever I look at the writers/authors, I see that most are MDs. And this is the area that I'm really passionate about but do I have to be an MD to do research on that?

Anyway, whenever I look at nursing journals, most of the topics I see are related to pain management, vent management or like stress management with nursing students. Maybe I should go out there and read more but I just want to know if there are nurse researchers in this forum and if they could discuss (or start a discussion) on their areas of research.

I hope my question/concern makes sense.

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

I am not a research nurse (I hope to be!). I was a research assistant in in the academic setting for 3 years in basic sciences/non-human studies before becoming a nurse. So I'll give you what little insight I have.

The PI, principle investigator, of a study is usually a Phd or in medical studies, an MD. I believe that in medical studies, please someone correct me if I'm wrong, the PI needs to have the scope of practice/license to oversee patients/presciptive authority/etc that BSN's or RN's don't have. That's why you won't usually find nurses as authors on research papers in your areas of interest. Now I'm not sure how it works with APRNs. Nurses do have scope of practice over nursing care (i hope so!) and that's why nurses are often the authors of such study papers. In the academic setting, the PI (in my case a Phd) was usually the person who wrote the grant proposal and finalized the study paper for publication. However as a lab tech, my name was included on a few abstracts submitted to conferences. He did alot of the important paperwork/documentation, and I did alot of daily grind work.

However, if you are interested in medical studies (i.e. derma and skin pharm), you don't have to be an MD to participate in it! Many people work with the PI to conduct a successful study, RNs, lab techs, biostaticians, etc. From what I've seen of shadowing a few research coordinators, they do a great deal of the work!

Anyway, I hope this helped and didn't confuse. Hopefully some current research nurses/coordinators will chime in with some better info!:D

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

FYI, the problem I've found with getting into research nursing is the lack of positions available in my area.

However, if you are interested in medical studies (i.e. derma and skin pharm), you don't have to be an MD to participate in it! Many people work with the PI to conduct a successful study, RNs, lab techs, biostaticians, etc. From what I've seen of shadowing a few research coordinators, they do a great deal of the work!

hi thank you so much for your response. i'm in an RN-BSN program in a university located in Southern California. how do I take this path in nursing? i'm asking because even though everyone in my family works in healthcare (most are nurses, we have physical therapists, OTs and surgeons), nobody is interested in research. only me. so they can't give me any advice. my friends who are in nursing don't know much about it either.

my question is --- do i have to get a master's degree to do what you just mentioned (i quoted it. see above.) ? where can i do internship on that? i'm extremely interested in skin pharmacology.

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

Well, like I said, I am currently not a research nurse/coordinator, but am working on it. So, my knowledge is purely based on my experience as an academic research assistant in non-human studies and the little info I've gathered about clinical research. If you search this forum, there are many threads (some started by me!) that might give you some help getting your foot in the door. As far as I know, to work on research studies you don't necessarily need a masters. Clinical research coordinators aren't necessarily RN's, either. It really depends on what the PI/study needs/wants/can afford. Good Luck! :)

i'm extremely interested in skin pharmacology.

Have you looked at the Dermatology Nurse Association site?

Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA)

They have a Journal, and maybe you could find a mentor to help you on your research journey. There is a list of members on the Research Committee.

Best wishes!

PS Looks like they have a convention coming up in San Diego in March 2011, if you can attend you maybe able to network there...

Hello OrangePink;

I am a research nurse specialist here in UK and been doing the job for over a year now. Research Nursing is a very demanding role especially in my case anyway, my speciality area is cancer nursing, initially with a small team of Rare Tumour and then moved to colorectal. The Rare tumour involves very uncommon cancer and one of them is the skin condition called melanoma.

So how I ended up doing research, well since I was in college I was totally smitten by this disciple; however, in Philippines, research nursing is not in anyway a popular subject. I've been in nursing for almost 20 years now and been around different disciplines in nursing and covered the countries of Philippines, Middle East and now UK. UK thankfully covers a great area of research, however, it took me 9 years to find the perfect opportunity to join the research team.

To be a research nurse you need at least a year experience in nursing but I recommend that you need to have more experience in any areas of nursing before you join research. Why? in research you are highly autonomous most of the time. You almost dictate what should be happening in trials of course with the guidance of the protocol and your PI (primary investigator), however, just like I said if you are not with them, you almost call all the shots.

Do you need MA degree? NO but it will definitely help you with the background knowledge. I do have my MA back in Philippines and acquired a different BA degree here in UK and now doing another MA course.

If you want purely nursing research, you can do this anytime but these research are non-prescriptive as mentioned earlier by one of those who answered your question. Non-prescriptive in the sense that you won't be using experimental medicines because only doctors can do this unless you are allowed to prescribe just like what we have here, an advanced role called as nurse prescribers.

Overall, research nursing is a very enjoyable, highly demanding but rewarding role, I would highly recommend it to all nurses who prefers a change of nursing discipline.........

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