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Nurse Researchers Have Unique Careers

Nurse researchers are responsible for performing clinical and scientific duties for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in order to develop and test new medications and other healthcare items.

Job Description

Nurse researchers don’t treat patients like traditional nurses. Instead, they interact with patients in order to study their care or to collect samples. Job duties include:

  • Analyzing data
  • Testing biological samples
  • Writing grant applications
  • Educating their peers both in academic and clinical settings
  • Writing articles or research reports that are published in medical or nursing professional journals or other publications
  • Presenting their findings at a variety of professional conferences
  • Making sure proper protocols are followed
  • Administering medications to clinical subjects as well as noting their medical histories to determine if they are a good match for the study
  • Monitoring each patient’s health and responses to a new drug or therapy trial.
  • Figuring out problems that hospitals and pharmacy companies face
  • Attending meetings as necessary that are held by executives
  • Performing and monitoring experiments to help increase positive patient outcomes
  • Assisting with surgical procedures when necessary
  • Collaborating with investigators and statistical consultants

Nurse ResearchersNecessary Skills

Nurse researchers should have:

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good analytical skills
  • Good critical thinking skills
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Excellent written and verbal skills


The education for a nurse researcher begins with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It takes four years to complete, and classes may include:

  • Community Health Nursing
  • Medical Ethics
  • Theory-based Nursing Practice
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Issues and Trends in Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Health Assessment
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Microbiology
  • Topics in Nursing
  • Patient Assessment
  • Critical Thinking in Nursing
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Advanced Skills in Nursing

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, students will need to earn one of the following:

  • Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Trails Research
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Research Management
  • Master of Science in Nursing in Clinical Research Administration
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Courses that are often part of an advanced program are:

  • Ethics for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • HIPPA Researchers Privacy Requirements
  • Research for Evidence-based Practice
  • Research Integrity
  • Coordinating Clinical Trials
  • Responsible Literature Searching
  • Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
  • Professional Communications
  • Human Subjects Research in Biomedical Studies
  • Design of Clinical Trails
  • Applied Drug Theory
  • Advanced Physiology
  • Healthcare Research
  • Organizational Foundations in Healthcare


All nurse researchers need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to become a licensed registered nurse.


The Society of Clinical Research (SOCRA) administers the Certified Clinical Research Professional certification. SOCRA identifies clinical research professionals as those who work in one or more of the following areas:

  • Analysis or monitoring
  • Education of other healthcare professionals
  • Data collection
  • Protection of participants’ rights
  • Program administration
  • Case management of participants
  • Report preparation
  • Research program audit
  • Maintenance drug accountability reports
  • Grant and budget development
  • Recruitment and enrollment of participants

Those who pass may use the Certified Clinical Research (CCRP) designation, and re-certification is required every ten years.

Nurse researchers can also become certified through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) by participating in one of the following:

  • Certified Clinical Research Certification Program
  • Certified Clinical Research Coordinator Program

Job Outlook and Salary

Job prospects for nurse researchers are believed to be excellent, and the rise is due to transfers, retirements, or those who leave the field for other reasons. The average annual salary is $95,000, and it is determined by location, education, experience, certification, employer, and industry.

Working a nurse researcher is an exciting and unique job. If you would like to learn more about this nursing specialty, please contact us for additional information.