Professional issues associated with the clinical research nurse role
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Professional issues associated with the clinical research nurse role

Juliet MacArthur Chief nurse, research and development, NHS Lothian, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland
Gordon Hill Associate director, Edinburgh Academy of Clinical Research Education, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Deborah Callister Scottish Research Nurse and Coordinator’s Network research assistant, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Clinical research nurses (CRNs) have a vital role in the conduct and governance of clinical trials. This article compares findings of an online survey conducted in 2012 by the Scottish Research Nurse and Coordinator’s Network with two surveys undertaken ten years previously in a single Scottish Health Board, permitting analysis of the development of the CRN role. The findings show that CRNs are highly qualified and experienced. Many had access to professional development and support, while others continued to feel isolated. There is a need for a clear, flexible career structure for CRNs, with appropriate induction, training and continuous professional development.

Nursing Standard. 29, 14,37-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.14.37.e9216

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 16 June 2014

Accepted: 22 August 2014