Clinical Research Associate
Make sure clinical research studies obey all safety regulations.
Do you enjoy working with people and performing scientific research at the same time? If so, you’ve found your calling. As a Clinical Research Nurse, you get to use your nursing skills while conducting research by monitoring clinical trials and research programs.
Clinical Research Nurses work directly with groups of volunteers or patients. Each research project is different, but most require you — the Clinical Research Nurse — to observe the effect of medications on the patient. You draw blood, take vital signs, and monitor behavior after the patient is given a dose of the trial medication. Then you recheck the patient at scheduled intervals. This might be done at an inpatient facility or on an outpatient basis.
You gather information and consolidate it with other data. To do this, you might examine blood samples under a microscope, or send them to the lab and review the results when they come in. You might create a list of questions for the Doctor to ask the patient, or you might conduct the interview yourself.
You can work at a hospital, clinic, private practice, mental health facility, pharmaceutical company, or specialized medical center (such as a cancer center). You might also use your skills to work as a Nurse Educator, teaching research techniques to nursing students.
Because you have a background in nursing, you have the necessary skills to deal with patients, as well as a running knowledge of the medical terminology used in research. In addition, you have lab skills and the ability to process necessary paperwork, such as grant applications.