The article “Investigating the roles and training of paediatric research nurses working across Europe: a questionnaire-based survey”, aimed to identify potential training needs and compare the roles of research nurses across specialties and countries, has been published in BMJ Paediatrics Open 2017.
Research nurses represent key figures among the clinical trial personnel to conduct a successful study. However, to date, their level of training and the roles played across countries have been poorly investigated. Therefore, the European Network of Paediatric Research at the European Medicines Agency (Enpr-EMA) established a working group to investigate potential needs and gaps in research nurses training across specialties and countries through a questionnaire-based survey.
The questionnaire, covering 4 areas of interest (demographics, training, clinical trial experience and research nurse roles/activities), was filled in by 341 research nurses, encompassing 45 different disease specialties and 20 European countries.
Notwithstanding 86% of respondents declared to be fully satisfied with the level of training received, 67% would benefit from additional training in the following areas: clinical trial set-up and management, IT skills, pharmacovigilance, Case Report Form (CRF) data entry, laboratory skills training, GCP (Good Clinical Practices) regulations. Looking at the results obtained, it appeared that there is a clear relationship between length of time in post and level of training satisfaction: a higher percentage of research nurses within 3 years of taking up post were dissatisfied with the level of training received (16%), as compared with those in post for 3–6 years (8%) and >6 years (6%). With regards to the type of training received, in terms of institution or self-funded, the results showed that a higher percentage of respondents received self-funded training in mainland Europe, with reported values of 15%–20%, as compared with <5% in the UK and Ireland. Only 3% of research nurses prescribed investigational medicinal products in a clinical trial setting, with different roles observed between countries.
The study provided a comprehensive overview of the current training status of research nurses working in paediatric field, highlighted the need to promote appropriate research nurse training programmes and to favour their harmonization across Europe. To this aim, the authors underlined that it would be of great importance to promote the design of the European paediatric research nurse core curriculum, together with relevant European Nursing Associations, to be adopted across EU countries.
The article is available at this link: http://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000170