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Aerial view of the NIH Clinical Center buildings.

Clinical Research Nurse Roles

Health Care Technician   
The Health Care Technician is a certified nursing assistant in the state of Maryland or has completed the Fundamentals of Nursing course work in a current accredited nursing program.  This role supports the activities of the professional nurse by providing patient care functions to assigned patients while maintaining a safe environment.

Patient Care Technician   
The Patient Care Technician is a certified nursing assistant in the state of Maryland who supports the activities of the professional nurse by independently providing patient care functions to assigned patients while maintaining a safe environment.

Clinical Research Nurse I    
The Clinical Research Nurse (CRN) I has a nursing degree or diploma from a professional nursing program approved by the legally designated state accrediting agency.  The CRN I is a newly graduated registered nurse with 6 months or less of clinical nursing experience.  The incumbent functions under the direction of an experienced nurse to provide patient care, while using professional judgment and sound decision making.

Clinical Research Nurse II    
The CRN II has a nursing degree or diploma from a professional nursing program approved by the legally designated state accrediting agency and has practiced nursing at the NIH Clinical Center for at least 6 months.  This nurse independently provides nursing care; identifies and communicates the impact of the research process on patient care; adjusts interventions based on findings; and reports issues/variances promptly to the research team. The CRN II administers research interventions; collects patient data according to protocol specifications; evaluates the patient response to therapy; and integrates evidence-based practice into nursing practice. The CRN II contributes to teams, workgroups and the nursing shared governance process.  New skills and knowledge are acquired that are based on self-assessment, feedback from peers and supervisors, and changing clinical practice requirements.

Clinical Research Nurse III   
The CRN III has a nursing degree or diploma from a professional nursing program approved by the legally designated state accrediting agency at the time the program was completed by the applicant.

The CRN III has practiced nursing at the NIH Clinical Center for at least 1 year.  The role spans the professional nursing development from “fully competent” to “expert” nursing practice.  The CRN III provides care to acute and complex patient populations, and utilizes appropriate professional judgment and critical decision making in planning and providing care. S/he masters all nursing skills and associated technology for a particular Program of Care and assists in assessing the competency of less experienced nurses. The CRN III participates in the planning of new protocol implementation on the patient care unit; administers research interventions; collects patient data according to protocol specifications; evaluates the patient’ response to therapy; responds to variances in protocol implementation; reports variances to the research team; integrates evidence-based practice into nursing practice; and evaluates patient outcomes. The CRN III assumes the charge nurse and preceptor roles as assigned. Formal and informal feedback is provided by the CRN III to peers and colleagues in support of individual growth and improvement of the work environment.

Senior Clinical Research Nurse    
The Senior CRN has a nursing degree or diploma from a professional nursing program approved by the legally designated state accrediting agency at the time the program was completed by the applicant.

The Senior CRN serves as a leader in all aspects of nursing practice. S/he demonstrates expertise in the nursing process; professional judgment and decision making; planning and providing nursing care; and knowledge of the biomedical research process.  The Senior CRN utilizes basic leadership principles and has an ongoing process of questioning and evaluating nursing practice. 

The Senior CRN may have one of three foci:

Specialty Practice- as a clinical expert for a designated patient population or program of care

Management- Clinical Manager   
The Senior CRN-Clinical Manager (CM) is an experienced staff nurse who collaborates with the Nurse Manager and other departmental leadership to assist with operations and management of a patient care area. The CM supervises the delivery of high quality patient care and assures the appropriate use of resources (i.e. staffing, rooms, etc.). The CM interacts with the research teams and support services to promote positive patient care outcomes and maintain protocol integrity. The CM models effective leadership, outstanding communication skills, while promoting a safe, supportive and professional environment.

Education- Clinical Educator   
The Senior CRN-Clinical Educator (CE) is an experienced staff nurse who collaborates with the Nurse Manager and other departmental leadership to oversee educational needs of unit staff. The CE develops/coordinates/evaluates orientation for new unit staff, trains/mentors unit preceptors, serves as a liaison/resource for departmental/Clinical Center/professional educational opportunities, identifies educational needs, coordinates unit in-services, and plans unit educational days. The CE designs, implements and evaluates learning experiences for all staff levels to acquire, maintain, or increase their knowledge and competence. The Clinical Educator teaches at the unit and departmental level.

Nurse Manager   
The Nurse Manager has 3 to 5 years of recent management experience;  advanced preparation (Masters Degree) is preferred. The Nurse Manager has experience in change management, creative leadership and program development; an demonstrates strong communication and collaboration skills to foster an effective partnership with institute personnel.. The Nurse Manager demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a particular specialty practice area and utilizes advanced leadership skills to meet organization goals.

Clinical Nurse Specialist   
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) has a Masters Degree in Nursing from a state-approved school of nursing accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) with a major in the clinical nursing specialty to which the nurse is assigned.  The CNS has a minimum of 5 years experience, is certified in a specialty area, and is accountable for a specific patient population within a specialized program of care.

Nurse Consultant   
The Nurse Consultant serves as an expert advisor and program manager for a specific area of clinical administration or clinical practice management. The incumbent serves as liaison to Clinical Center departments and the ICs for issues related area of expertise and assigned responsibility and to provide communication and consultative services to all credentialed nurses at the Clinical Center.

Nurse Scientist   
The Nurse Scientist is a nurse with advanced preparation (PhD in nursing or related field) in research principles and methodology, who also has expert content knowledge in a specific clinical area. The primary focus of the role is to (1) provide leadership in the development, coordination and management of clinical research studies; (2) provide mentorship for nurses in research; (3) lead evaluation activities that improve outcomes for patients participating in research studies at the Clinical Center; and (4) contribute to the overall health sciences literature. The incumbent is expected to develop a portfolio of independent research that provides the vehicle for achieving these primary objectives.

 

Nurse Roles

Health Care Technician
Patient Care Technician
Clinical Research Nurse I
Clinical Research Nurse II
Clinical Research Nurse III
Senior Clinical Research Nurse
Clinical Manager
Clinical Educator
Nurse Manager
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurse Consultant
Nurse Scientist