Clinical Research Coordinator
About the Program
The Clinical Research Coordinator program will prepare students for careers in clinical research administration as Clinical Research Coordinators and Site Data Managers for pharmaceutical and clinical research trials. The program is designed to give graduates the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage clinical trials under the supervision of a principal investigator in a variety of venues such as research sites in medical centers, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies or contract research organizations (CROs). Prerequisites to enter the program include college-level math, reading and computer skills. Although no other courses are necessary to enter the program, students are encouraged to pursue CPR certification prior to graduation.
The Clinical Research Coordinator program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree or an Advanced Technical Certificate for individuals who have already obtained a college degree.
A Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) is a member of the healthcare team that is primarily responsible for the day-to-day activity of a clinical trial. They recruit, enroll and monitor individuals enrolled in a clinical trial. They will also interact with the physicians associated with the trial and the organization which funds the trial, such as a pharmaceutical company or the National Institutes of Health. CRCs typically work in physician practices, hospitals, and specialty centers but can also be employed in pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations.
A clinical trial is a specific process used to test the safety and efficacy of new drugs and medical devices. This method involves individuals who agree to undergo specific tests and procedures in order to better understand the safety and efficacy of new drugs or medical devices. These trials are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not maintain statistics for Clinical Research Coordinators, the employment demand for CRCs is expected to continue to grow. The job outlook within the state is especially promising since Texas is a leading pharmaceutical research state. In 2012, Texas was ranked second nationally for the number of all clinical trials, with more than 14,000 studies underway, according to the National Institutes of Health database (www.clinicaltrials.gov) An aging population and new scientific discoveries are expected to contribute to growth in the drug and medical device development industry nationwide.
Many are surprised to learn that the U.S. Southwest Region has one of the largest concentrations of clinical trials and new drug testing in the world and the industry continues to grow at an incredible rate. The clinical trial industry is expected to enjoy double-digit growth through 2015. (Source: The Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America)
The following titles are examples of careers associated with this program but not limited to:
- Clinical Research Coordinator
- Clinical Trial Manager
- Research Coordinator
- Clinical Program Manager
About the Program Coordinator: Heather McCreery
Upon arrival in San Antonio, I took an oncology nursing position in a clinical research setting at The Cancer Therapy Research Center. I quickly realized that I didn’t understand the research process so I focused on patient care. Over time I found that I really loved the blend of bedside nursing with the business aspects of drug development. Since the field of clinical research has only recently emerged an academic field of study, my training was strictly on-the-job. I was very excited to attend and graduate from the George Washington University with a Clinical Research Administration degree. As a result of my education, I received two promotions and was the Director of the Office of Clinical Research at the San Antonio Cancer Institute before joining Northwest Vista College in 2009.
My on-the-job training experience at CTRC has made me keenly aware of the value of a formal, academically challenging education. As a result, I seek opportunities to bring real world scenarios and experiences into the classroom. Many would agree that there can be a world of difference between the information provided in a textbook and the actual day-to-day experience when you are working in the field. I want to bridge that difference by blending the content in the text with what really happens in clinical research.
M.B.A. from the University of Liverpool, UK
B.S.H.S in Clinical Research Administration from the George Washington University
Certificate in Clinical Trials Management and Regulatory Compliance from the University of Chicago
A.A.S. in Nursing from the Community College of Allegheny County
Registered Nurse (RN) through the Texas Board of Nursing
Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC) through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals
Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board