Advancing the educational and career pathway for clinical trials nurses
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Clinical trials nurses play a pivotal role in the conduct of clinical research, but the educational and career pathway for these nurses remains unclear. This article reports findings from a survey of nurses working in cancer clinical trials research in Australia. Most participants held postgraduate qualifications (42 of 61); however, clinical trials education was primarily attained through short professional development courses. Interest in pursuing trial-specific postgraduate education was high, but barriers were identified, including cost, time, and unclear benefit for career advancement. Job titles varied substantially, which is indicative of an unclear employment pathway. These findings suggest that initiatives to improve the educational and career pathway for clinical trials nurses are needed and should include the following: formal educational preparation, greater consistency in employment status, and clearer career progression. These strategies should be underpinned by broad professional recognition of the clinical trials nurse as a specialized nursing role.