Clinical research nursing: a critical resource in the national research enterprise

Nurs Outlook. 2012 May-Jun;60(3):149-156.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


Translational clinical research has emerged as an important priority for the national research enterprise, with a clearly stated mandate to more quickly deliver prevention strategies, treatments and cures based on scientific innovations to the public. Within this national effort, a lack of consensus persists concerning the need for clinical nurses with expertise and specialized training in study implementation and the delivery of care to research participants. This paper reviews efforts to define and document the role of practicing nurses in implementing studies and coordinating clinical research in a variety of clinical settings, and differentiates this clinical role from the role of nurses as scientists and principal investigators. We propose an agenda for building evidence that having nurses provide and coordinate study treatments and procedures can potentially improve research efficiency, participant safety, and the quality of research data. We also provide recommendations for the development of the emerging specialty of clinical research nursing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Nursing Research / organization & administration*
  • Clinical Nursing Research / standards
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Financing, Government
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Specialties, Nursing
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / economics
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / organization & administration*
  • United States