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Nurse with patient

"I want to make a difference. And I want to make a difference in something big. I find that nurses in general come to nursing because they want to make a difference for someone. And here, they come because they might be making a difference for everyone."

- Words of a Clinical Center Nurse

Who We Are

Clinical Research Nurses at the NIH Clinical Center are integral health care team members who provide and coordinate patient care in a research setting. The role of the Clinical Research Nurse spans development from the new graduate nurse to the senior clinician who is expert in providing complex comprehensive nursing care to a specialized group of research participants.

Nursing at the NIH Clinical Center exists in an environment where research and patient care delivery meet.  The setting is a unique laboratory for clinical research conducted by all disciplines.  Nurses work daily with informed consent, patient and family education, data collection and other elements of protocol implementation.
With the rigorous demands for consistency in intervention imposed by clinical research, the Clinical Center is staffed at a level to assure optimal clinical care as well as consistency and accuracy of data collection.  Our nurses fully participate in patient treatment planning and discussions of research results.

Practicing nurses come to the NIH Clinical Center from diverse backgrounds in education, management and clinical expertise. Nurses may select roles in several areas:

  • Patient care units, day hospitals, and ambulatory care clinics
  • Research support for any of NIH's 27 Institutes and Centers such as the National Cancer Institute, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute,
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Clinical research support in departments such as Transfusion Medicine, Anesthesia and Surgical Services, Imaging Sciences, and
    Critical Care Medicine 
  • Staff and leadership functions such as clinical research nurse, clinical educator, nurse consultant, nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist,
    research nurse, nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthetist
Clinical Practice and Shared Governance

Nurses at the Clinical Center are active participants in the development and management of clinical practice through a proactive Nursing Shared Governance structure that has been in place since the mid 1990's.  The shared decision-making model, initiated in 1994, remains vibrant and strong under the guidance of the Chief Nurse and with support of clinical research nurses. The Shared Governance structure provides forum for nurses in a variety of roles to critically review nursing clinical practice against regulatory community standards and performance improvement data.  Shared governance facilitates opportunities for  clinical nurses to continually improve practice while developing leadership skills.

This page last reviewed on 01/29/09

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