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Research Nurse

Research & Development
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Research & Development
  • Education

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

  • Participating in the design, performance and evaluation of specified research projects
  • Raising the research profile within the Trust
  • Preparation of research proposals for ethical approval and assisting nursing staff with ethical issues
  • Delivery of teaching sessions in issues relating to research and evidence based practice
  • Applying for funding for research proposals and assisting nursing staff with funding applications
  • Formulation of questionnaires to gather information
  • Formulation of patient information sheets & consent forms for prospective research studies
  • Participation in clinical trials
  • communication with MDT and patients and/or carers regarding clinical trial; completion of relevant documentation
  • Maintenance of clear and accurate accounts of status of research projects and case report forms
  • Takes responsibility for coordination and management of various research projects and other aspects of work by working autonomously without direct supervision and use of effective time management skills


Specific qualifications and experience required

  • RGN
  • NMC Registration
  • 5 years post registration experience
  • Evidence of formal research training


Career Milestones

After six years clinical nursing experience in a general medical ward, I worked as core trainer for a nursing information system. This position introduced me to the implications of initiating and implementing change as well as enhancing my communication skills with the range of individuals who required to be taught how to operate the new documentation approach. It also provided me with the opportunity to gain insight into different clinical areas and appreciate the diverse nursing roles within the Trust. Following completion of this secondment, further opportunity became available with the opening of the Stroke Unit. With considerable experience in this field, this was a natural progression to work as part of this multidisciplinary team where I gained valuable management experience. I became aware of the growing need to develop audit and research as part of the Clinical Governance agenda and in conjunction with this took up position as Clinical Audit Assistant and then applied for role of Research Nurse. As Research Nurse, I was advised to undertake research in an area of interest to me as well as assisting other colleagues with research projects. This proved very valuable advice as I can enjoy undertaking research as well as developing my research skills working with other individuals who have a research interest.


What attracted you to this job?

  • Had obtained skills as Core Trainer, Senior Staff Nurse, Clinical Audit Assistant which were transferable and which I could apply to this current role
  • Offered challenge as had research knowledge but lacked practical skills in this field
  • Current lack of nursing research within trust and wanted to help raise research awareness among colleagues


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

  • Working with nursing colleagues who have an interest in research and gaining insight into their areas of practice
  • Researching an area that has the potential to improve practice in a clinical area where I have particular interest
  • Patient contact when recruiting for clinical trials


Important success factors

  • Support from a Nurse Tutor with an interest in Research
  • The appointment of Professor of Nursing Research and the opportunity to work with this individual to develop research skills and knowledge
  • The support of a consultant with an interest in Research and Clinical Trials


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

This job requires you to have the ability to work on your own initiative as well as a member of a team. It is fundamental that you should be enthusiastic about promoting research and evidence based practice to improve the quality of patient care. This will be essential as you try to motivate staff to participate in research and development activities. Excellent organisational skills are needed as well, as a meticulous manner to work is required for research projects and clinical trials. To assist in raising the research profile, you will be involved in teaching sessions for staff, therefore a knowledge of delivery of presentations as well as computer skills are an advantage.


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

  • Skills in relation to writing a research proposal
  • Skills in applying for funding and obtaining ethics approval
  • Skills in recognising the importance of being able to justify decisions made about care that is delivered and what evidence is used to inform practice
  • The literature I have read has assisted in my enthusiasm to support nursing colleagues to transfer evidence into practice
  • Proficiency in delivering teaching sessions to nursing colleagues
  • Increased competence in undertaking clinical trials and increased familiarity with the Good Clinical Practice Guidelines


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