The role of the research nurse is the focus of a reconstituted special interest group (SIG) at the UK-based Institute of Clinical Research (ICR).

The Institute’s Study Site Co-ordinators SIG has been renamed the Research Nurse SIG and will address the needs of “this previously under-supported group of professionals while still remaining concerned with study site co-ordinator issues”, the ICR noted.

The strategy for the Research Nurses SIG includes developing and issuing a training needs survey, developing training needs competences and organising a forum on Research Nursing – The Way Forward, which will be held on 18 June at the ICR’s offices in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire.

According to Caroline Gunnell, chair of the Research Nurse SIG, the aim is to become internationally recognised as the co-ordinating body for research nurses, to provide standards, training and professional development, and to become respected as a key promoter of good clinical research.

“We will also be having discussions with the UK Chief Nursing Officer to make her aware of our aims, the training survey and the need for professional development and career structure for research nurses and the way forward,” Gunnell added.

“One of the main issues we will be tackling is that there is no recognised professional role for clinical research nurses, so a co-ordinated approach to the subject will go a long way to addressing this.”