Overall I am very glad that I went into research and I do not want what I say below to prevent you from giving it a shot. You will learn a completely different perspective and there is a lot of room for growth and development. Research has also given me a different perspective on life and in my practice. My eyes have been opened up to importance of global and community/public health. I also now see the importance of questioning everything from hospital protocols to the research articles that the protocols are based on if they were even research based to begin with.
It is a completely different mind set though. In any research you are no longer treating patients. When I first started, I was somewhat shocked when I was told that I could not get a BP on a patient prior to consent because if I left the hospital I was allowed to do it on the city streets. So for me the whole concept changed from using your knowledge and abilities to save lives to doing something because the protocol simply says to do it and nothing beyond the protocol. The one place where it pays to be a good ICU nurse is in the role of safety reporting and being able to connect the dots and find relationships. There are many more frustrations in research compared to working in the units. For example, you will be shocked at how much the nurses in the hospital dislike us. They blatantly do not do orders, get labs hours late, or will sometimes get a VO from a resident to cancel our VO, that we put in under the attending/PI for study purposes, and then send the your patient home so there is no chance to get needed data.
I was also 1 on three staff in both departments that I have worked in. The first was Int. cardiology and I was essentially on-call 24/7 365 because I was the only one who was consistently was close enough to the hospital. Now I am the only nurse in the department with 2 coordinators. So I get pulled in 5 different directions to draw blood, give study drug, etc... for the coordinators because only I can do these tasks. At the same time I am expected to keep up the same number of regulatory binders and do the same if not more data entry and safety reporting because of course I will get all the drug studies since I am the only nurse. It gets overwhelming to say the least. There has been a very quick turnover in our department of research nurses for the above reason.