Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nursing or clinical science preferred
Average Salary: $31,717 – $80,287 per year
Job Outlook: Good
Clinical coordinators help test and evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new medical drugs, devices, and procedures on human subjects during structured studies and clinical trials. They are responsible for ensuring the proper medical and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) procedures are being followed – including patient care – throughout the whole study or clinical trial process, recruiting subject patients, screening patients, explaining the possible risks and averse effects, obtaining patient consent, monitoring and recording the patients’ responses and progress, and reporting on and completing the documentation for those responses and progress for the purposes of a study or clinical trial.
In addition to their medical and procedural duties and expertise, clinical coordinators need to have excellent communication skills and sensitivity for working with subject patients, some of whom may be healthy while others may have serious health problems.
Clinical coordinators typically work for hospitals, clinics, research universities, research laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies.
Education and Training Requirements
The exact education and training requirements may vary depending on the employer and type of clinical studies a clinical coordinator is involved in, but clinical coordinators are often required to have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, a master’s degree in a clinical science field such as clinical research or drug development, or training and licensure as a registered nurse. Training and licensure as a registered nurse requires an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and successfully passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
High school students interested in becoming a clinical coordinator should try to take courses in the sciences during all four years of high school.
Getting the Job
Professional certification, such as that available through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, is a good way to get hired as a clinical coordinator. Also, relevant internships or previous professional experience in a medical or healthcare capacity, or preferably as a nurse, are highly valued and can qualify you for a clinical coordinator job.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The employment outlook for clinical coordinators is good, as new medical drugs, devices, and procedures are continually being developed and must be tested for their safety and effectiveness in studies and clinical trials.
Clinical coordinators can advance in their careers by becoming a clinical manager or a laboratory director.
Working Conditions and Environment
Clinical coordinators often work in an office inside of a laboratory or healthcare environment, where they interact with subject patients, medical personnel, and the sponsors of the study or clinical trial. Depending on the details of the study, clinical coordinators may have a standard work week, or else be assigned varying shifts that may include evenings and weekends.
Salary and Benefits
Clinical coordinators earn salaries between $31,717 and $80,287 each year, which typically increases with experience and amount of responsibility. Medical, dental, and vision benefits are included as well. On average, starting clinical coordinators begin with a week and a half of vacation each year, while clinical coordinators with over 20 years of experience have over three weeks of vacation annually.
Where to Go for More Information
Association of Clinical Research Professionals
500 Montgomery St., Ste. 800
Alexandria, VA 22314
Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research
126 Brookline Ave., Ste. 202
Boston, MA 02215-3920
The American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics
765 Commonwealth Avenue, Ste. 1634
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
The Society of Clinical Research Associates
530 W Butler Ave., Ste. 109
Chalfont, PA 18914