Clinical Research Nursing Certificate

Clinical research nursing certificate

Review the online info session here.

The Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) Education program offers an online Clinical Research Nursing Certificate. Through a combination of didactic content, highly interactive and engaging learning experiences, and collaboration with other CRNs, the certificate program will prepare nurses to navigate the growing complexities of the clinical research landscape as well as improve the safety, quality, and experience of research participants.

Bridging the gap between clinical care and research operations is an important and timely area of focus for both academic medical centers and study sponsors. The oversight of participants on high risk and early phase research protocols requires expert clinical oversight and coordination of care, and knowledge and experience in research execution. Graduates will have a foundational knowledge of the domains of clinical research nursing including human subjects protection, care coordination and continuity, contribution to science, and study management.

Graduates will: 

  • Understand care coordination and its application to the research process and the management of research participants
  • Utilize quality improvement skills to support participants on clinical research studies
  • Integrate new clinical research knowledge and clinical nursing skills
  • Apply regulations, processes, and management of human subject research, focusing on the unique nursing contributions to clinical trials of drugs and devices
  • Learn skills and tools required to effectively execute clinical research protocols in various patient populations and settings 

Applications are currently being accepted to enroll in Fall 2024. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024.

Contact Amanda Brock, Program Director, with any questions:

Program Information

The certificate includes 4 courses and is designed to take 1.5 years.

Clinical Research Nursing Certificate Study Plan

4 Credit Units (CUs)

Fall Spring Summer Fall
REG 5100: Intro to Clinical & Translational Research REG 6510: Role of the Clinical Research Nurse: Principles Procedures and Purpose REG 6110: Clinical Trial Management REG 6520: Implementation of the Clinical and Translational Research Protocol: Nursing Considerations

programdirectorphotoProgram Director: Amanda Brock, MSN, MBE, RN has 15 years of experience in healthcare including inpatient and outpatient direct patient care, nursing leadership, and clinical research. She has her Master of Science in Nursing Health Leadership and a Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. Amanda is pursuing her DNP in Executive Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and expects to graduate in 2025.  Her clinical experience is with the oncology population, particularly sarcoma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She is the Chair of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses. In her current role she is charged with formalizing career pathways for Clinical Research Nurses by way of academic programs, professional development opportunities, and professional organization membership and engagement.  She also oversees the clinical and research operations of the direct care research nursing units. She is enjoys leading teams, mentoring staff, and fostering a culture of collaboration, respect, and diversity.  

Please review the Regulatory Affairs Tuition webpage for details.

Applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2024. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024.

Certificate Eligibility

  • Applicants must be licensed nurses with at least 18 months of clinical experience
  • An active RN license in any U.S. state

What We're Looking For 

  • BSN or a bachelor's in any related field preferred
  • Existing experience in patient care and clinical expertise 
  • Strong critical thinking skills and clinical judgment

Application Process

Applicants must submit a full application via the online form in CollegeNET.

Please note, select "Regulatory Affairs Certificate" under Program Information as the program of study in CollegeNet. Based on your personal statement response, we will administratively shift your application to the Clinical Research Nursing Certificate.

Apply Online Now

The application form requires the following documents:

  1. Transcripts
    • Upload unofficial undergraduate and graduate, if applicable, transcripts into the application system
    • Upon acceptance, candidates will need to provide official transcripts before beginning classes
  2. Resume
  3. Personal statement
    • Respond to the following 2 prompts below. Each response should be 400 words or less. You may need to combine the two prompt responses into one document to upload.
      • What are your short- and long-term professional goals, and how does the Certificate in Clinical Research Nursing help you meet your goals?  
      • Discuss a challenge, setback, or failure that you have faced in your nursing career. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  4. One letter of recommendation; the online application system requires electronic submission of the letter by the recommender.
    • Recommender may be faculty or an employer
    • The letter should address the following:
      • The suitability of the Clinical Research Nursing Certificate for the student's stated career goals
      • The student's academic ability
  5. Other
    • English Language Proficiency (e.g. TOEFL score) for applicants whose bachelor's institution did not conduct courses in English.

The application does not require GRE score submission.

Application Fee: $25

After acceptance, applicants will need to provide proof of RN license and official transcripts.

Application Support

We encourage you to reach out to discuss your interests in the certificate program and answer any questions. Contact Program Director, Amanda Brock,

Please review our Student Resources page.

Policies & Disclosures

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or 215-898-6993 (Voice) or 215-898-7803 (TDD). Specific questions concerning the accommodation of students with disabilities should be directed to the Office of Student Disabilities Services located at the Learning Resources Center, 3820 Locust Walk, Harnwell College House, Suite 110, 215-573-9235 (voice) or 215-746-6320 (TDD).

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In addition, the Uniform Crime Reporting Act requires Pennsylvania colleges and universities to provide information related to security policies and procedures to students, employees and applicants; to provide certain crime statistics to students and employees; and to make those statistics available to applicants and prospective employees upon request. 

To review the University’s most recent annual report containing this information, please visit the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report or the Penn Almanac Crime Reports.

You may request a paper copy of the report by calling the Office of the Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of Penn Police at 215-898-7515 or by emailing

Recognizing the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s admissions committees for graduate and professional programs will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during the period of COVID-19 disruptions. An applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution implemented a mandatory pass/fail (or similar) system for the term or if the applicant chose to participate in an optional pass/fail (or similar) system for the term. Penn’s longstanding commitment remains to admit graduate and professional student cohorts composed of outstanding individuals who demonstrate the resilience and aptitude to succeed in their academic pursuits.

The University of Pennsylvania is accredited, but there is no separate accreditation for clinical research nursing programs.

The Clinical Research Nursing Certificate program does not currently accept students based outside of the U.S.