Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.
Thank you for subscribing!
Please fill in your email to continue.

Research Nurse

A Research Nurse is a scientist who works with patients during clinical trials, recording and managing data with the intent of discovering newer, better ways to provide care.
Required Education
MSN or PhD
Work on your own or even start your own practice, in some states.
Follow a routine that allows you to anticipate and prepare for every situation.
Analyze data and discover new ways to help patients.
You’ll play a very important role in making new discoveries and developing new treatments that can help save peoples’ lives.
Nursing bag, medication, and signs cartoon graphic
What you’ll do


You’ll write research reports of your findings and articles for medical journals and other publications, and grant applications.


You’ll collect and analyze data and manage databases, patient care treatments, and procedures.


You’ll present your research findings at conferences and other speaking engagements.

Where you’ll work
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Medical research organizations
  • Laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Universities
How to become a Research Nurse


Pass the NCLEX-RN and work as a Registered Nurse.



While it’s not required, a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) may be necessary for certain kinds of research.


You’re ready to work as a Research Nurse.

Join an Organization
Become a member of a Research Nurse organization to find career opportunities, learn from your colleagues, and support the profession.
  • Taura Barr, RN, PhD, FAHA, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Valtari Bio Inc. is developing a new bedside diagnostic tool to help triage suspected stroke patients in the emergency room setting.
  • Female nurse in scrubs and gloves wearing virtual reality goggles performing something in the air
    As the healthcare industry becomes more focused on innovation as a pathway to improving patient outcomes, nurses are stepping up as leaders and innovators, turning their frontline experience into creative solutions to improve patient care. Across her various positions at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHA, is focused on researching ways that nurse-led initiatives can improve healthcare now and in the future.
  • As the first nurse to be selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The Lemelson Foundation as an AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, Rachel Walker, PhD, RN, is intimately familiar with nurse-driven innovation and the significant impact it has on healthcare. Dr. Walker is a nurse inventor, former rural emergency medical and disaster relief worker, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst College of Nursing, and advocate for nurses as leaders in healthcare innovation and improvement.
An Occupational Health Nurse’s role is also independent.
A Military Nurse is another type of community nurse.
Latest from Johnson & Johnson Nursing
  • image of Adrianna Nava speaking at National Association of Hispanic Nurses conference
    In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Adrianna Nava, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), shares how this organization is working to address the needs of current and future Hispanic nurses and the communities they represent.
  • USCF Health's Pat Patton with group of nurses
    A former bedside nurse, USCF Health's Pat Patton’s data-backed, listen-first, feedback-driven approach to creating a supportive environment where nurses stay and thrive is working—and presents a blueprint for health systems everywhere.
  • The future of nursing starts in the classroom. At Johnson & Johnson, we’re proud to amplify nurse-led programs and practices that find innovative ways to prepare, strengthen and empower the next generation of nurses. Below, read more about four best-in-class pilot programs investing in nursing education, funded by the American Nurses Foundation, so new nursing graduates are ready to practice.
This site uses cookies as described in our Cookie Policy . Please click the "Accept" button or continue to use our site if you agree to our use of cookies