Clinical Research Nursing Recognized as a Specialty Practice by ANA

Two female clinicians looking at X-Ray

Shaunagh Browning, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, Nurse Manager of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences’ Clinical Research Unit has co-authored the Scope and Standards of Practice for Clinical Research Nurses along with three colleagues from the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN). The American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors announced in August that they will now recognize clinical research nursing as a specialty nursing practice.

Approved by the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN), clinical research nursing is “the specialized practice of professional nursing focused on maintaining equilibrium between care of the research participant and fidelity to the research protocol. This specialty practice incorporates human subjects protection; care coordination and continuity; contribution to clinical science; clinical practice; and study management throughout a variety of professional roles, practice settings, and clinical specialties.” According to IACRN, clinical research nurses (CRN) practice globally, their unique body of knowledge consists of specialized training in nursing care, research regulations, scientific process, human subjects protection and data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Through specialty practice, CRNs make important contributions to the clinical research process, quality of the research outcomes and most importantly the safe expert care of research participants.

The ANA also announced that the scope of practice statement for clinical research nursing was approved and the standards of practice have been acknowledged for a five-year period. These will be co-published by the ANA and the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses in the near future.

Many thanks to Shaunagh and her colleagues who have worked diligently on behalf of clinical research nurses throughout the country to gain this recognition.