If you want to become a nurse researcher, then you need to know exactly what steps to take and what mistakes to avoid to achieve your dream. There are so many people who failed to get the career they wanted just because they never did enough research on what was required of them. This post will expound more on everything you need to consider to become a nurse researcher.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
Many years back, people used to get nursing research jobs as long as they had RN credentials. Things have changed nowadays. In order to be employed as a nurse researcher, you not only need an RN credential but also a BSN degree. A BSN degree will provide you with comprehensive training in clinical research, community health and patient care. Many institutions require that you have your high school diploma and take certain college courses as prerequisites for enrollment in a BSN program. Other admission requirements include excellent academic records, health vaccination clearance, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and proof of volunteer experience. A typical BSN program takes approximately four years to complete.
If you don’t have any work experience as a registered nurse, you can choose to pursue your BSN degree first and then apply for an RN credential after college. You will have to sit for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to get the RN credential.
If you are already working as registered nurse, but you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can choose to pursue an RN-BSN degree online. Online RN-BSN degrees are very convenient and do not interfere with your work schedule. They typically take two years to complete.
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Gain Some Work Experience
In addition to education and an RN credential, you will need some experience to improve your career prospects. You can gain experience in areas such as oncology, outpatient, urology or any other place you might find suitable. Many hospitals offer internships for those who want to major in research and explore advanced technical skills.
You will need a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) certification to score more points during job recruitment. The CCRP certification requires at least two years of clinical experience as a nurse researcher. It provides advanced knowledge related to research, such as study design, demographics, governing laws and informed consent. Other employers might require a certification in Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support in addition to the CCRP certification.
Pursue Your Master’s Degree
While you can get a job as a nurse researcher with a bachelor’s degree, someone with a master’s or doctorate degree will more easily find employment. If you choose to pursue an advanced degree, a Master’s of Science in Nursing or any other program that exposes you to health research is a good option.
Nurse Researcher Salary
Nurse researchers earn an average salary of $104,500 per year, making them some of the highest earners in the nursing profession. The salary depends on the level of experience, location and credentials. Nurses who work in California, New York, Oregon and Massachusetts earn as high as $200,000 per year.
Some people avoid nursing research because they think it is complicated and exhausting. Nursing research is easier than you think. With a bachelor’s degree, some work experience and the right certifications, you can become a nurse researcher and work anywhere you want.