Clinical research nursing focuses on the care of research participants and the protocols of clinical research and trials. The clinical researcher nurse (CRN) balances the needs of the participant and the requirements of research across settings. The result: exceptional, ethical, and safe care that yields reliable, valid data and findings, high quality research outcomes, and, in time, better quality health care.

A recent publication Clinical Research Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (details here) addresses advances regarding the Clinical Research Nurse specialtist's unique body of knowledge: nursing care; research regulations; scientific process; and data collection, analysis, and interpretation. 

This publication highlights seventeen competency-based standards of CRNs frame evaluation of practice outcomes and goals and delineate what is expected of all CRNs and the scope of practice (which establishes the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the CRN practice) is the context for applying the competency-based standards.

We believe that the establishment of the CRN as a specialist in the USA will enhance the practice and career opportunities of clinical researh nurses globally. 

An alternative competency frameworks for all team members, including clinical research nurses, has been formulated by the WHO. The framework can be applied to any clinical research study, regardless of the size of the team, place, disease focus and type of research. Together with its supporting tools, the framework can be used to plan staffing requirements for a study, to carry out appraisals of staff, to guide career development, and to create educational curricula for research staff. 

On this page you will find links to various resources about the role of the clinical research nurse and we hope this will help you in your career. Thank you especially to Clinfield for their contributions. We would like to encourage clinical research nurses worldwide to contribute more resources and stories to contextualise the role in their practice and setting.

The Contribution of clinical research nurses to Nursing and Patient Care

Ali Mortimer, Lead Nurse Research & Development, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical Research Nurses Play a Vital Role

Our nurses play a vital role in delivering studies in the NHS. Watch this video of Lorraine and Sharon's stories to find out more.

Career Advice on becoming a Research Nurse by Sara S

Sara works as a research nurse and describes this as "somebody who's done their usual nurse training but has then gone on to develop an interest in clinical research." She is motivated by "Getting positive feedback from people. Knowing that I've done a good job."

Southampton's Research Nurses

In their distinctive grey uniforms, Southampton's research nurses are amongst the best in the UK, providing the best care and the highest quality research. Watch video


Making the pivotal moves to become a Research Nurse

MD Anderson Research Nurses describe their unique career path on the steps they took to become a Research Nurse. The Research Nurses also explain the major functions and responsibilities of their role along with how they contribute to the success of Making Cancer History.

The Faces of Research Nurses: Changing the Future

Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, University of Michigan

Why is Research Important to Nursing?

by Leta Malcolm