please help


I'm a BSN with many years of experience. I would love to switch gears in my career and become a Research Nurse and work in the hospital setting or for a Pharma company. These places require certification in research. I have found online sites that offer certification for research nurses, but I haven't found any websites that offer coursework to prep for the certification. Boston University offers coursework + cert, but it's over 20k.


9 Posts

You dont need certification to work on a Research unit in the Hospital. I worked for both Emory Clinical Research Unit and on trials at Duke and they didnt require Certification. To be certified with SOCRA or ARCP you need documented two yrs experience working in Research before you can even sit for the test. I would suggest you find out if your hospital has a unit that specifically focuses on Clinical trials. Clinical research Centers usually are located in any university hospital and both see medsurge and research patients. Get your experience here and then apply for a coordinator positon within the syste.

Good Luck


1 Post

Find a PI at your hospital and let him/her know you are interested in breaking into research. You can take beginner/training courses through Barnett International but you don't really need anything in order to get started. I learned by jumping in and making a ton of phone calls to the Institutional Review Board and to the director of research regulatory and compliance at my hospital. They were not able to offer me much help in the way of training, but talking with them eventually helped me develop my own training. (I could probably do your beginner training- ha ha I learned the hard way so it is ingrained in me!)

Most of the training out there is expensive and you don't really get what you pay for... Barnett, ACRP and SoCRA are really expensive and the courses I have done were not really worth the money. I did the Barnett Beginner CRA/CRC Program... it was $1800 and I didn't like it- the instructor was very unfocused and her child or dog interrupted the webinar every week (10 weeks, 3 hrs one night a week).

I think the thing to do is find some beginner training and at least start off knowing a little bit about what you are doing, and then learn the rest along the way. You can certify through ACRP after a couple of years but the exam costs $450-600 depending on whether you are a member or not. I am not sure I recognize the value in membership with either of them (have been a member of both).

Best of luck to you- I sincerely hope you are able to forge a career in research- it is truly fascinating.


120 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

I agree with the other posters. You sincerely do not need an expensive certification. You may take a pay cut starting out, but there are plent of opportunities. From what I've seen, you need one of three areas of expertise to switch over to research: 1) Research (duh), 2) infusion experience, 3) expertise in a specialty area with a desire to get in to research. Heck, I'm a NICU nurse! ;)