Entry to clinical research



I am an RN,BSN in Canada,Calgary. I am very interested in pursuing a career in clinical research, can anyone suggest how to get a entry into clinical research field. Most of the CRA/co-ordinator jobs ask for experience or a certificate in clinicalresearch, I am not sure what to do. And I dont want to pursue a course in this area unless I get a job. Please suggest.


Giving this a bump because I'm interested in the answers you might get.

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

Have you done any research? Do you have any ideas of what you'd like to research? Do you know what role you'd like to fill in research?

How about calling the neighboring hospitals and asking if they have nurses who do research. Then contact those nurses and talk about how they got into the field, and see if they have any suggestions for you? Also, any hospital who has ongoing research in it has an IRB (Institutional Review Board). You might try to find out who heads such boards near you and talk to those people too.


17 Posts

Thanks for the suggestion.. guess your right, have to talk to the people in the hospital and research centre. And no I have not done any research except in school. I am interested in clinical trials, and I am ready to start of in any post entrylevel post, research assistant etc.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Here is a good place to start:


It's the association of clinical research professionals, this is the organization that administers the different research certification exams. There are a few international research companies (I used to work for one that was based in Canada). I have a former Canadian coworker that works for a Quebec based company that sends her to France regularly to monitor trials (fortunately for her she is French Canadian).

There are different types of clinical research. Phase 1 (healthy normals) and Phase 2a/2b are people with a condition that are stable enough to do a trial with an active vs. placebo. There are several international contract clinical research organizations that independently conduct research trials as per their client's protocol (usually pharmaceutical companies).

You can also check out Center Watch for information:


Both have information that pertain not only to the US & Canada but internationally. Good Luck.


17 Posts

Thanks for all the info,the websites are very informative especially centerwatch i was not aware off.

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

Canadian research employers are looking for clinical trial coordinators and research assistants who obtained their certification through public colleges or universities rather than workshops offered through private companies. I am not sure what programs are available in Alberta, but you may want check into the Michener Institute's and McMaster University's certification programs to get an idea of programs that are recognized by clinical researchers.

The Michener Institute online program


McMaster in class program