Clinical Research Nurses

Clinical Research Nurse strategy 2017-2020The NIHR Clinical Research Nurse is vital to the NIHR in delivering research. These nurses provide and deliver high quality patient care as well as dealing with data collection, follow-ups, patient groups and industry, but most importantly of all they develop and build multi-disciplinary teams that deliver research.

These pages are to help the NIHR Clinical Research Nursing workforce to be informed, share and celebrate the role. You can read about the clinical research nursing role in 'Our Voices' and how they work in 'Our Work'. The 6Cs are at the forefront of how a clinical research nurse works.

The NIHR CRN has strategic priorities for the development of the NIHR Clinical Research Nursing workforce, see the section below:


Clinical Research Nursing Strategy 2017-2020

The latest Clinical Research Nursing (CRN) Strategy has been released setting out the direction of travel for 2017 to 2020.

The strategy reflects the NIHR mission to “provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public”.

The strategy sets out four strategic goals:

  • Creating a clinical research culture that is patient and public focused
  • Promoting innovation in research delivery practice to include the use of digital technologies to improve data quality and enable novel ways of using resources
  • Improving awareness and understanding of the specialty of clinical research nursing and its contribution and impact
  • Developing leaders to share best clinical research nursing practice locally, nationally and internationally

Read the full strategy:

Accompanying materials:


Connecting Clinical Research Nurses

If you believe that nursing is about making a real difference to patients’ lives, then clinical research nursing can provide a stimulating and rewarding career pathway. As a clinical research nurse, you have the opportunity to spend quality time with your patients and help them reach an informed understanding of the treatment options available and provide support throughout their care pathway. And by contributing to clinical research, you’re making sure the NHS can meet the challenges of the future, by providing vital evidence on 'what works', so we can keep improving treatments for patients.

The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network supports thousands of clinical research nurses in the NHS - helping them to develop their skills and further their careers through research.

Sign up to CONNECT

CONNECT is a monthly newsletter which shares information and updates relating to our nursing strategy.To receive your copy of CONNECT simply email: 

Use our #CRNurse hashtag on Twitter

Keep in touch with the whole nursing community on Twitter using our hashtag #CRNurse. It’s a great way to share ideas, expertise and link with professionals and patients.



Celebrating Clinical Research Nurses National Meetings

The NIHR hosts national meeting to recognise and celebrate the work of Clinical Research Nurses around International Nurses Day each year. Featuring presentations from speakers who work in the clinical research environment, the meetings also give delegates the opportunity to present their work in posters. Presentations, videos and photos are available from the meetings 

Image of Russell Hamilton and others at the launch of Our Voices

'Our Voices' Celebrating the clinical research nurse

'Our Voices' is a publication launched by Russell Hamilton at the NIHR Clinical Research meeting in May 2013. Nine Clinical Research Nurses from various parts of the country were interviewed for this publication and they talk about the experience and their role in delivering research in the NHS. 

A common theme all nurses speak of is having started their research career with an uninformed view of what a research role could bring them. They discuss the opportunities open to them and challenges faced.  

Their stories have been collated and published. To learn more about the experiences and work of Clinical Research Nurses, download the 'Our Voices' booklet, and watch the interview below with another one of the participants, Maggie Peat.

The current edition of 'Our Voices' can be found here.

'Our Work' a booklet of clinical research nursing practice

Over 40 posters were exhibited at the NIHR Clinical Research Nurses meeting in May 2013. Claire Hall and Chrissie Dransfield, both from Thames Valley DeNDRoN/Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust produced the winning poster 'Welcoming student nurses into DeNDRON'.  The Runner up prize went to Anne Elmer and Pippa Bayfield, both from NIHR/Welcome Trust Clinical Research Facility in Cambridge. The posters have recently been published in a booklet 'Celebrating the Clinical Research Nurse: Our Work'.