How Do Laboratory Experiments Help Further Nursing Education?

Today, America’s nurses are more educated than ever before. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of bachelor’s degree holders rose by 54.5% compared to just above 20% before 1971.

While the majority of their education is focused on direct patient care, many are involved in research because they understand the value that it holds in healthcare and within the profession itself. Nursing research has proved vital, and many of the advancements we see today can be directly attributed to the time that highly-trained nurses have put into researching better practices and medications for patients.

Their work has helped shape nursing policy, improved community nursing, transformed patient care, and helped to deliver new medications that are used every day to treat patients. According to one report, there are more than 27,000 research nurses in America today, and many of them have dedicated their careers to researching new medications for different conditions. For those who plan to become research nurses, it is important to understand the educational trajectory. These nurses hold a post-graduate degree (a BSN) and they are also required to have an active RN license.

There are several ways that one can gain the necessary qualifications, but one of the best is to pursue DNP FNP programs online. Institutions such as the University of Indianapolis provide courses with all of the quality content you expect, with the convenience of working from anywhere in the world. They are designed for nurses who want to become more efficient at their jobs and contribute to better healthcare practices through research. These courses cover topics like advanced health assessment, advanced practice for patients of all ages, and the transition from primary care to advanced practice.

The advanced health assessment course covers laboratory practice, and the students learn how to conduct comprehensive health assessments across the lifespan. They are taught how to collect information, including family histories, and they also learn how to do screening and prevention of illness. Students who take this course cover scientific, ethical, theoretical, and evidence-based practice, as well as how these practices apply to family and community nursing. For nursing students who would like to pursue research, it is important to understand its role in nursing and how it impacts direct patient care as well as the development and testing of new medicines.

Why is research important in advanced nursing programs?

Research is important in any field because it helps advance and improve practice. In nursing, it has helped revolutionize healthcare. Today’s nurses are more educated than the generations that came before them. In the past, nursing roles were limited to just patient care. They were there to support and assist doctors. For most, the role of nurse involved making sure that patients were comfortable, that they took their medications, that they were fed and clean, and that they got whatever they needed to aid in their recovery.

Today’s nurse still does all these things, but the role that they play is bigger, especially if they hold the requisite training. Many nurses can diagnose and treat patients just the way doctors do. They can issue prescriptions, perform detailed patient histories, and collect information. They are also an important part of the management team. Research has played an important role in expanding the role that is played by nurses. During their training, they develop analytical thinking and are taught how to be excellent problem solvers.

Research nurses are taught how to look out for patterns and trends, collect data, and analyze it so that they can draw important scientific or even anecdotal conclusions. The conclusions they draw help healthcare facilities improve patient care. Research has also driven many of the improvements in healthcare that we see today. Patient-centered care is an excellent example of this. It has become mainstream in most healthcare facilities in the United States, and all it means is that the patient’s opinions, feelings, and needs are taken into account when creating treatment programs.

Nurses play a critical role in the shift toward patient-centered care because they are on the frontlines and can see how outcomes improve when patients feel that their opinions matter.

Many healthcare facilities are now keen to employ nurses who possess BSN-DNP FNP qualifications because even when they work in clinical positions, they have a critical eye and are creative problem-solvers. They are also valued because when they observe trends, they can collect data and analyze it to draw valuable conclusions.

What role do nurses play in research?

When nursing students enroll in DNP FNP programs online, they learn the necessary skills to become members of research teams. They can observe trends among patients, collect data, and – together with the research team – analyze it so that they can understand its implications.

Research doesn’t always take place within a laboratory setting. Indeed, in healthcare, a lot of research takes place within hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where nurses can observe and talk to patients as they undergo diagnosis and treatment.

A lot of research also takes place within communities, where nurses go out and talk to different people to collect data about trends. They also talk to community leaders about their observations and how they feel that healthcare can be improved. When they have collected the necessary information, they analyze it with the research team so that they can understand its implications.

What role do nurses play in researching new medications?

Clinical trials are how new medications are tested, and research nurses play a vital role in the process. They examine the efficacy of new treatments, new ways that drugs can be administered, the use of alternative medications and treatments, and even new procedures that can help alleviate symptoms.

With their understanding of research processes, research nurses can administer medications to select groups of patients and observe the interactions and outcomes for each. Clinical trials are carried out in phases, and research nurses are involved in every phase. The first phase is usually designed to find the safe dosage of a new drug, streamline how the medication should be taken, and see how the drug affects the patient – does it alleviate symptoms, and what side effects does it have, if any?

The research nurse is equipped to do all these things. They administer the drug to patients within the clinical trial and then observe them and talk to them to find out whether they feel better. They also do the necessary tests for more scientific insights into how the patient is reacting to the drug. The second phase of clinical trials is usually to find out how effective the new drug is. In oncology clinical trials, for example, phase two is used to determine whether the new drug has any effect on the cancer that it was designed for.

Again, nurses play a critical role here because they take samples, test them to see the effect of the drug, and compile their reports. These are collated and discussed with the research team, and the research nurse is expected to share whatever they observe in the patients. The third phase is usually the last in clinical trials, and it is used to compare the efficacy of the new drug to those that are already in use. The nurse has access to all the patients, whether they are on the new drug, the existing one, or the placebo.

Their role is to record their observations for each, gather data, and write reports so that the research team can use it to decide whether or not the new drug is more effective than existing treatments.

What are the specific responsibilities of the research nurse?

They determine consent and screening

Not every patient would like to be involved in clinical trials, and it is the job of the research nurse to determine those who are willing and those who aren’t. They can go through patient files to pick those they think are most suitable and then talk to each of them about how they feel about participating in a clinical trial. The nurse will explain the drug, what it is designed to cure, and the process of the clinical trial.

They determine if patients are eligible to join clinical trials

Some patients are so ill that it isn’t safe for them to take part in clinical trials. Research nurses, in conjunction with doctors, determine whether a patient is suitable to receive whatever medication they are testing.

They administer medications

The research nurse plays a critical role here because they hand out the medications to the patients. They usually administer the drug in question along with a placebo, and they start to record observations right away. The nurse will take samples for the lab to analyze, and they also talk to the patients about how they feel. They compile all the information that they collect so that it can be discussed with the research team.

They modify doses accordingly

If a patient needs more or less of the medication, the nurse will make sure that they get it. Identifying the right dosage of any medication is a complicated process, and the nurse is part of the team that decides whether a patient needs a higher or lower dosage.

They measure the effectiveness of the new drug

How are the patients reacting to the new drug? Have they experienced any physical relief? Did they experience any side effects. If they did, what were they and what was the severity? These are all questions that the research nurse ought to be able to answer during the clinical trial. Their feedback is used to tweak the drug’s composition and dosage.

They report deviations

Deviations from expected reactions are critical in clinical trials, and if the research nurse observes something that doesn’t fall within the norm, it is their job to report it to the research team for further investigation.

They follow up after the clinical trial to determine the long-term effects of the drug

What happens after the clinical trial is just as important as what happens while it is underway. Research nurses are tasked with following up with patients to determine whether new drugs continue to be effective. They also assess patients for side effects and talk to them about their progress and overall well-being.

Do research nurses have clinical roles?

Many of them do, and they spend a significant portion of their workday with patients. They diagnose, treat, and provide the care that is needed to help patients get better.

A significant number of research nurses do not work in laboratories, and if they do, their role there is limited. They are more useful within healthcare facilities where they can observe patients directly and talk to them about their illnesses and symptoms. Even as they carry out clinical roles, they gather data and collate it into reports that are shared with management and research teams.

Their observations are critical because they shed light on important issues that affect patients. The conversations that they have with patients also help inform research.

What does it take to be a research nurse?

So long as you have the right educational qualifications, you can become a research nurse. The courses don’t take very long, and those who enroll online are usually able to complete their research nurse training in two or three years.

Research nurses need to have a keen eye for detail, be able to spot trends, and have an analytical mind. They should also be good communicators who are empathetic because a lot of their time is spent talking with patients. These nurses are also required to have plenty of stamina. Just like other types of nurses, they are busy individuals who often work long hours. They need to rest between shifts, get some exercise, and eat a balanced diet that supports their physical needs.

Lastly, good research nurses are team players. They need to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to analyze data and use it to improve healthcare, and they need to be professional and friendly in their interactions with colleagues.


Research nurses play a critical role in clinical trials. They help test new medications and monitor patients throughout the process. They are tasked with multiple roles, including observing patients and recording their findings for the research team to analyze.