What is a Clinical Research Nurse?

The clinical research nurse is an integral member of the pharmaceutical industry. It is the job of these nurses to oversee clinical trials and studies to ensure that all regulations and requirements are followed properly. Clinical research nurses work to protect patients who are participating in such studies. They do so by using their nursing experience to identify any patient issues and to design effective treatment plans. If you think this may be the career for you, here is everything you need to know about a clinical research nurse:


Clinical research nurses must possess certain skills to be effective in this position. For example, they must be competent and comfortable with Access, Excel, and other database programs. In addition, these nurses must have above average written and oral communication skills and be highly organized.


Before entering this position, you must complete at least two years of clinical research experience. If the study is illness-specific, you should also have experience in treating the specified disease. Nurses who have treatment experience relevant to a particular disease being studied will be given preference over other candidates. In addition, you must be a registered nurse, preferably with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Job Duties

Typically, clinical research nurses deal with the care of patients in the study to ensure that protocols are followed and patient safety is not jeopardized. The nurse ensures that the patient’s informed consent is preserved. In addition, they make sure that documentation of data is accurate and complete, and that patient vital signs and medication administration is charted. Because of the importance of the work, clinical research nurses are a necessity in any clinical study.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical research nurses earn around $60,000 a year, though this can vary greatly depending upon the location, experience level, and employer. In addition, most clinical research nurses receive retirement and medical benefits.

If you are looking for a nursing career that is a bit out of the ordinary and that will let you truly contribute to the advancement of healthcare, this is a good choice for you. Clinical research nurses will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.