Clinical Research Nursing

Clinical research is constantly evolving and becoming ever more complex. This endeavor requires a large number of people with varied backgrounds and skills in specialized areas.  Armed with a unique set of knowledge and skills, the Clinical Research Nurse is an essential member of that research team, often playing a central role in the conduct of clinical research.

There are numerous phases of a clinical research study starting with posing a research question, developing a protocol, executing the protocol, analyzing the data, and ultimately disseminating the result.  Though the Clinical Research Nurse can play a role at any of those phases, they are most often the major contributors to the protocol execution phase.  This includes providing clinical care to those participating in clinical research, ensuring participant safety and ongoing informed consent, acting as the research participant advocate, administering investigational and other medications or treatments, participating in procedures, collecting and documenting clinical data, collecting and processing specimens and clinically monitoring the participants.  The results of the studies are vitally dependent on the quality of these efforts.

The role of the Clinical Research Nurse is dynamic.  Nurses have the opportunity to continually learn and work with new patient populations, new investigational agents, and with new techniques. The current scope of patient-based studies at the Rockefeller University Hospital involves roughly 28 principal investigators who are utilizing the Hospital for approximately 60 clinical protocols. Encompassing a tremendously broad range of subjects, including addiction, cancer, diabetes, obesity and weight loss, heart disease, hepatitis C, AIDS, blood disorders, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and psoriasis.