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Specialty nursing certification is relevant to every area of nursing practice. Nurses across nursing roles and practice settings can impact health care quality by demonstrating their specialty knowledge and their commitment to lifelong learning through certification. 

Certified clinical research nurses (CRN-BC™) contribute their expertise, knowledge, and skill in clinical research involving human subjects. Continuing competence is the ongoing professional responsibility of a clinical research nurse to obtain, integrate, and apply current knowledge and skills required to practice safely, effectively, and ethically in designated roles and settings.


As the basis for certification development, continuing competence is defined as:

  • A professional and ethical obligation for safe practice.

  • Protection of the public and advancement of the profession through ongoing development of individual nurses.

  • A shared responsibility among individual nurses, the profession, regulatory bodies, certification agencies, professional associations, educators, and care organizations/workplaces.

  • Evolving as it builds upon previous competence and integrates new evidence.

  • Dynamic, fluid, and impacted by many factors as nurses enter new roles and new settings.


Consumer Protection

An important goal of specialty certification is consumer protection—to ensure consumers receive health care from knowledgeable clinical research nurses. 

Practice Excellence

​Certification as a clinical research nurse demonstrates the individual’s commitment to practice excellence, continuing competence, and lifelong learning.  The CRN-BC™ credential represents the only nursing certification that recognizes expertise as a clinical research nurse. It is earned through completion of a professional portfolio that validates the applicant’s role performance in clinical research nursing.

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