Provider-Related Issues

Guest Expert: Elizabeth Ness, RN, MS: Are direct care nurses ready to care for clinical trial patients?

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2012

Our monthly AccrualNet Guest Expert is Elizabeth (Liz) Ness, RN, MS. Liz is the Director of Staff Development in the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute. Both her expertise in clinical trials and her passion for education are well-recognized by her colleagues and pupils. Liz's expertise is recognized nationally and internationally and she is a sought-after preceptor, speaker and author. Please join me in welcoming Liz as our November guest expert as she sheds light on a corner of nursing practice that deserves our attention.

From LIz:

"As most of you know, clinical research and clinical trials have expanded beyond the traditional settings of a research unit or an academic medical center. This is particularly true for oncology where most clinical research care is provided in the community. However, not all nurses may be adequately prepared for the unique challenges of caring for a research participant. Traditionally, nursing education has not focused on the role of the nurse in clinical research beyond the role of the nurse researcher.  This means that most nurses learn about clinical research, specifically clinical trials, on the job.  Many of these nurses learn once they have assumed the role of a study coordinator or research nurse coordinator. But, how do the direct care nurses who care for our clinical trial participants learn about clinical trials?

In an effort to help disseminate information to the direct care nurse about clinical trials and nursing role, my NCI colleagues and I sent a letter of inquiry to American Nurse Today, the official journal for the American Nurses Association. We proposed a multi-part series that would examine clinical trials and the role of nursing. To our pleasant surprise, they offered us a 4-part series that ran this past year beginning in February. The 4 articles are:

"Clinical Trials Awareness on a Global Level" is a new web course designed to enable nurses to provide appropriate care to patients who are participating in or eligible for clinical trials. The course is a result of a joint initiative between the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC), with support by a grant from Pfizer Inc. There are a total of 9 modules which are designed to reflect the unique background and contribution of nurses to oncology clinical trials:

  • Introduction
  • Module 1: Making the Case for Clinical Trails
  • Module 2: Introduction to Clinical Trials
  • Module 3: The Protocol
  • Module 4: Protocol Review and Approval Process
  • Module 5: Research Team and Communication
  • Module 6: Supporting the Informed Consent Process
  • Module 7: Documentation and Patient Management
  • Module 8: Patient and Care Giver Communication and Education
  • Module 9: Clinical Trial Resources for Nurses
  • Glossary of Terms

There is a small charge to register; learners will have 4 weeks to complete the course and will receive 4.5 CEUs. Please encourage the nurses who help implement your protocols to visit the website and take advantage of this unique course.

Earlier in this blog, I asked the question of how direct care nurses learn about clinical trials and shared some recent efforts to provide learning opportunities for nurses.  Now I’d like to hear from you… do direct care nurses in your organization learn about clinical trials? Whose responsibility is it to provide this education?  I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will share your experiences and programs with others.

  Liz Ness


Please Login or Register to post comments.