June 25, 2015

Blending Research with Nursing Practice

By Dana Smith

Written by: Ilana Logvinov, M.S.N., R.N.

Nurses often ask me about my role as an Advanced Certified RN Clinical Research Coordinator. How did I learn about it ? What do I do in this role? In fact, my role is very diverse and as a dedicated RN Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) for the Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Florida, I have grown in this role tremendously.

Clinical Trials Nurse (CTN) or RN CRC are registered nurses specialized in the facilitation and conduct clinical trials involving human subjects. A nurse working with clinical trials has a wide range of responsibilities involving coordination of care and research activities. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for not only managing the prescreening process for prospective eligible research subjects, but also enrollment, recruitment, and participation in the informed consent process. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for supervising the coordination of care for research participants with other members of the multidisciplinary research team in addition to maintaining the research files according to the Federal Guidelines.

Becoming a CTN or RN CRC is huge learning curve for even an experienced RN, because the “research language” is very different and learning Federal Regulations is imperative to outstanding performance. It took me about 2 years to really learn my new role and understand all the language surrounding research. It was also beneficial for me to complete my MSN with major in Clinical Trials Research. After coordinating trials for several years, I became more involved with drafting the research proposals, conducting literature searches, and contributing to manuscript preparation. My clinical experience as a nurse really helped me understand the logistics and practicality of conducting clinical trials. In addition to my clinical experience, I continued to gain knowledge through post graduate studies in my doctorate program.


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