Online Clinical Research Coordinator Training Programs
A clinical research coordinator (CRC) gains patient consent, maintains a database of participants, dispenses medications and manages the use of clinical devices. Get information about training and degree options.
What Kind of Training for a Clinical Research Coordinator Is Available Online?
Online training for clinical research coordinators is most commonly available in the form of short-term certificate programs, although bachelor's degrees can also be earned. Associates programs in clinical research coordination are typically offered in on campus formats, but online degrees may be earned in clinical laboratory technology. Certificate programs are often designed for registered nurses (RNs) or those who already hold bachelor's degrees in the life sciences. Some are available for entry-level workers, but graduates of entry-level programs are usually not eligible for certification until after they have worked as clinical research coordinators for several years.
|Program Levels||Certificate program, associate's degree, bachelor's degree|
|Certificate Courses||Medical law and ethics, documentation, drug storage and documentation, FDA audits, informed consent|
|Degree Courses||Healthcare delivery methods, anatomy and physiology, data collection, research methods, technical writing|
|Program Lengths||4 years for bachelor's|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or GED (undergraduate) or bachelor's degree and RN licensure for some programs (certificate); background check may be required; CPR certification and liability insurance are required for those participating in labs|
|Median Salary (2018)||$79,590 (for biological scientists, all other)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||8% growth (for biological scientists, all other)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do Certificate Programs Cover?
Certificate programs in clinical research coordination are focused on teaching research skills and knowledge of industry practices. Unlike associates or bachelor's degree programs, they do not usually include classes that are not specifically related to clinical research, such as theoretical science and mathematics or general education classes. You will learn about industry standards for clinical research, known as Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and the legal and ethical issues surrounding medical research. Other topics in the training program may include documentation, institutional review board submissions, drug compliance, drug storage and documentation, Food and Drug Administration audits and informed consent.
How Do Degree Programs Work?
Online associate's degree programs in clinical research coordination cover the skills required to work as a CRC and include broader training in scientific and medical issues than a certificate program. Topics covered in the course may include anatomy and physiology, health care delivery methods, medical terminology and legal issues. You might also study business communication, technical writing and management techniques. Successful completion of the program will prepare you for national certification through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) when combined with work experience. Programs usually take 1-2 years to complete.
An online bachelor's degree program in clinical research may prepare you for higher-level work in the biopharmaceutical industry or in medical research. Programs will teach you about regulatory compliance, clinical research methods, data collection, ethics in research and protocol development. They generally take about four years to complete. You will learn how to assess the safety of trial medications and medical devices, as well gain professional communication and team-building skills. You'll be eligible for ACRP certification after you have worked as a clinical research coordinator for two years.
What Are the Program Requirements?
Schools that offer online courses expect you to have competency in computer applications and access to a computer. For some programs, you may need to be a licensed RN or hold a bachelor's degree. For others, a high school diploma is sufficient. Some schools require you to have hepatitis B immunization. You may need to pass a drug screen and background check. If you participate in clinical labs, you will need to have current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification and professional liability insurance.