Help getting into research nursing...


I am a RN (BSN) with 11 years of experience in med/surg and most recently ambulatory surgery. I am looking for a specialty change and have always been interested in research/clinical trials. In the past, whenever I saw RN research positions they always required experience. Is there anything I can do now to help me get into the field? Any class or certification? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

lauranurselaura, BSN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research. Has 19 years experience. 44 Posts

Hi BlueIndigo79!

I am a research nurse (study coordinator) at an academic medical center. I work on Cardiology clinical trials. I absolutely love it and have been working in research for 7 years. I first started out as a research assistant as the physician was looking for someone who could talk to patients, knew medical terminology and could consent patients. That's all they really needed, so as a nurse, I fit the bill! After 2 years at that position, I got a job as a clinical research nurse coordinator and have been doing that ever since. It's a great job for nurses and even though experience in research is a plus, if you're a nurse (you don't have to be a nurse to be a study coordinator), you have a huge leg up! Certifications can be obtained, but you won't qualify to take the exam until you've worked for two years. I strongly encourage you to apply for clinical research coordinator jobs. As a nurse, you're sure to get something!



162 Posts

I will look into research positions in the next few months. Thank you for responding!


ResearchNurseRNCCRC, MSN

Specializes in Nursing Education, Research, ENT, Oncology. Has 27 years experience. 58 Posts

You don't need research experience to be a research nurse. You need skills such as being detail oriented, good with patients, able to draw blood, and want to advance medicine. The rest of the job can be learned! You just have to find the right position, right boss, right specialty and the rest can fall into place.