Research nurses have provided essential insights to the medical community for years. They play an essential role within the sphere of nursing, and it takes a particular skill set to work as a research nurse. They discover knowledge that lays a foundation for clinical practice.
In this blog, we will explore the following:
- What is a research nurse?
- What does a research nurse do?
- What attributes does a research nurse have?
- How do you become a research nurse?
- How much do research nurses make?
What is a research nurse?
Research nurses work to come up with new medical treatments, medications, and vaccinations through their studies. They also help care for patients during case studies. Research nurses work with cutting-edge research that provides critical insights into the industry. Their work helps push the nursing and healthcare field forward.
What does a research nurse do?
The research nurse is a different kind of nursing role because there is very little interaction with patients. The only time that the research nurse interacts with patients is when they help monitor them for case studies.
Most research nurses work can be divided into two types: qualitative research and quantitative research.
Quantitative research: This type of research uses numbers, percentages, and formulas to communicate findings.
Qualitative research: This research takes the form of thoughts, perceptions, and experiences.
That said, the research nurse performs the following tasks:
- Coordinating with other researchers for studies
- Educating and training new research staff
- Writing grant applications to receive funding for studies
- Writing articles and research papers in professional medical journals
- Reporting research findings at conferences, meetings, and other types of events
- Keeping records of supplies and medical equipment
- Monitoring research subjects during studies
- Paying attention to the needs and concerns of subjects during the studies
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What attributes should a research nurse have?
Research nurses need to have a wide variety of skills to perform this job well. Unlike many nursing jobs, they don’t have to work with patients directly, which allows them to focus on their research. Some of the traits a research nurse must have are listed below.
Critical thinking skills: This is one of the most important traits a research nurse should possess. They need to know how to analyze facts and synthesize them with other information to develop sound inquiries. Their ability to think outside of the box enables them to create new, cutting-edge information for the healthcare space.
Attention to detail: Research nurses need to understand how to work with the minutiae of more information. Their work often deals with data, and they must make precise calculations to develop their findings.
Organizational skills: These are essential to know how to deal with details and think critically about how to sort and categorize information. They often have a lot of information to process within a given shift. Having the capacity to organize complex information is critical.
How do you become a research nurse?
The path to becoming a research nurse can seem daunting, especially if you are starting without experience. Research nurses require at least a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. It’s a long path, but for many people, it’s worth it. To become a research nurse, you must complete the following steps:
- Earn a nursing degree
Individuals who do not have a degree and are not registered nurses have to take this step first. You can earn either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing to become an RN. If you’re seeking an associate’s degree in nursing, you can complete it at a community college. If you want to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing, it takes four years at a college or university.
- Become an RN
After graduating from a nursing program, you’re ready to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is standardized, and you will receive your RN license upon passing. The test covers eight core areas of care. These include:
- Management of Care/Coordinated Care
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Psychological Adaptation
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Reduction of Risk Potential
- Safety and Infection Control
The test costs about $200 for registered nurses.
- Accrue experience as a registered nurse
For most nurses who want to specialize, this is a vital step. However, gaining experience as a registered nurse is still essential for research nurses.
- Earn an MSN or Ph.D.
Research nurses must have an advanced degree to practice. They can either have an MSN or Ph.D. degree to practice. There are accelerated bridge programs available for nurses to pursue if they want to speed up getting an advanced degree.
- Obtain certification
Research nurses have two certifications to choose from to specialize. These are both provided by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.
These are the certifications:
- Clinical Research Association (CCRA)
- Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC)
How much do research nurses make?
The research nurses’ salary depends on numerous factors such as education, experience, and location. However, on average, research nurses make about $80,010 per year.
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