If you enjoy working with patients in controlled medical studies, conducting investigations, and doing research, then a career as a clinical research nurse may be the perfect choice for you. Nursing research is the foundation for practice. Throughout this program you will learn about the different health conditions, test various theories, and form hypotheses.

Educational Requirements for Research Nursing

Before you can begin working in this environment, you must first meet the requirements. You will need to earn your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and also become licensed in the state where you plan to practice. You will have to complete two years of general requirements before you begin taking nursing-focused courses. Once you complete the two years of general courses, you take two years of nursing specific classes. After you graduate and receive your diploma, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This will allow you to use the RN tag after successful completion.

If you want to advance your nursing degree to a higher level, you should consider receiving your MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) or even a Doctorate (Ph.D.). These higher degrees will allow you to receive more opportunities, earn a better income, and teach the profession. A Master’s program will typically take you about two years to complete. To gain acceptance into a graduate nursing program, you will need to score high on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), submit letters of recommendation, and have a solid undergraduate GPA.

Research Nurse Certification

Certification for a research nurse can be granted through the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA). Once you meet the requirements for this credential and pass the certification examination, you can use the title of CCRP (Certified Clinical Research Professional). Research nurses come from diverse and varied backgrounds. Many research professionals have degrees in medical writing or a biological science. Also, the National Institute of Nursing Research has training programs for nurse scientists.

Career Opportunities and Salaries of Research Nurses

There are many different settings where research nurses work. They can be found in pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and even biotechnology companies. These nurses are in high demand as there are not a lot of them. According to most web sources, salaries range from $65,000 and $105,000 per year. Earnings will depend on your degree, years of experience in the research field, place of employment, and location of worksite.

Research Nursing Job Duties

The duties within research nursing will vary depending on where you work. Some of your job duties include: supervising the care of patients who are involved in medical studies; conducting clinical trials; developing research proposals and study designs; obtaining grants and funding; and administering surveys, medications, and treatments. You may also be required to analyze and interpret data as needed throughout the job.


ANA (2013):

BLS (2010):

Nurse.Org (2013):

NINR (2013):

SoCRA (2013):

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