Clinical Research Management: RNs Learn Project Management from Vanderbilt Faculty

Vanderbilt University.

School Overview
 Serves: Worldwide
 Accredited by: SACS-COC
 Enrollment: Semesters
 Financial Aid: Yes
 Scholarships: Yes

Prestigious University Offers Competitive, Online Grad Nursing Degrees

Vanderbilt University's online Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Clinical Research Management is one of two graduate nursing courses offered through the distance-learning environment at VU. Vanderbilt's nursing school has been considered one of the best in the nation for generations and the online programs are as high quality as their on-campus counterparts.

The concentration in CRM takes BSN degreed nurses and prepares them for the next level of nursing: management, particularly of clinical trials and nursing research projects. Clinical trials are a key facet of healthcare in which nursing professionals at all levels have figured prominently. Recently there have been increased demands for nurses in higher leadership positions. In upper level management, nurses are able to integrate ground-level experience of healthcare in both management as well as patient care. CRM requires know-how of similar care settings, but within the even more granular specialties of medical research.

CRM graduates work closely with researchers and study groups, alike. They form the link between disparate components as well as auxiliary healthcare professionals. Nursing CRM are also instrumental in managing nursing and lab staff associated with research projects, managing project data and subjects, and maintaining a balanced financial plan.

Requirements for the MSN-CRM

Applicants must have a completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with a 3.0 GPA and at least a year of hands-on clinical experience as a licensed RN. Candidates must also have taken the GRE and attach a personal statement to their application that supports their educational and career choices.

Above and beyond these requirements, eligible nursing professionals must have well-honed personal and professional goals, in combination with the self-motivation necessary to include a challenging study regimen into one's personal life. While online degrees are flexible and offer conveniences that allow participants to study 24/7, they are, nevertheless, as demanding as traditional degrees.


The curriculum for the MSN-CRM begins with core coursework that lays a general foundation in graduate level nursing: advanced nursing theory, advanced research concepts, nurses in advanced practice positions, and a survey of healthcare systems. Concentrated courses leading to the CRM specialization include: healthcare informatics, research and project management, pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology, and in-depth topics related to management of clinical research trials. Curriculum capstones are the two hands-on practicum courses in which candidates work with CRM preceptors that help nurture the students' new skills.

The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission accredits VU's MSN degrees.

Career Opportunity

Professionally, advance degreed nurses with administrative, management, and leadership training have a wide assortment of extant and new positions open to them. Healthcare is as changeable as the larger realm of business and industry and may, in fact, be emulating some of the new trends also taking shape within that sector; specifically, more specialized layers of leadership.

CRM nurses may work in public and private research arenas, within hospitals, clinics, academia, and in government-sponsored projects; in international projects and in commercial jobs, such as those in pharmaceutical companies, and other privately funded organizations.

Vanderbilt University's online graduate nursing program offers working nurses one of the nations' best programs, packaged into a convenient, distance learning format.

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