• clinical trial;
  • clinical research;
  • nursing staff organization;
  • research personnel;
  • role delineation study;
  • research professional;
  • clinical research nurse/ing


Clinical research nursing is a specialty nursing practice focused on the care of research subjects and implementation of clinical research. A five-dimensional model (Clinical Practice [CP], Study Management, Care Coordination and Continuity, Contributing to the Science [CS], Human Subjects Protection) has been validated nationally to represent the domain of clinical research nursing practice. The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency and importance of activities within each dimension as performed by nurses in clinical research and to describe differences between roles. One thousand and four nurses from the NIH Intramural Campus in Bethesda, Maryland, were invited to participate in an anonymous web-based survey. Participants (N = 412) were predominantly female (90%) with ≥11 years research experience (70%). Two hundred eighty-eight respondents (70%) identified themselves as clinical research nurses (CRNs) and 74 (18%) as research nurse coordinators (RNCs). CP activities were reported most frequent and important whereas CS activities were least frequent and important. CRN and RNC activity frequency differed across all dimensions (p < 0.001) with CRNs reporting significantly higher levels of CP activities and significantly lower levels in other dimensions. Delineating specialty activities and practice across roles enhances the understanding of nurses’ role in clinical research and provides groundwork for role-based training. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 421–427