The first nationwide study nurse training program (worth four academic credits) is a joint effort by all five Finnish university hospitals and the member companies of Pharma Industry Finland. The approach to planning and the training itself are both completely web-based. Besides the team from the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), the working group has comprised pharma industry representatives Johanna Hemdahl (Boehringer Ingelheim), Kirsi Saukkonen (Amgen) and Anneli Vuorinen (Crown CRO). In addition to these companies, AbbVie, Bayer, GSK, MSD and Roche have provided content for the training program. Other experts in the field, other hospital districts, EUPATI and the authorities have also contributed to the content of the training.
Study nurse training is a one-semester program intended for nursing professionals, aiming to deepen the general insight into clinical research, drug research and research nursing. A study nurse works as a part of the study team and is responsible for e.g. communicating with study subjects, study sample logistics and general coordination of activities. Study nurses need to know and understand the study protocol and have an understanding of the authorization process preceding the study start-up.
“For the first time, preparatory study nurse training is arranged as a joint effort by all university hospitals and Pharma Industry Finland member companies, which means that those interested in becoming study nurses are offered a one-stop training opportunity throughout Finland,” says Professor Anne Pitkäranta, the Research Director of HUS. She is also responsible for the nationwide study nurse training.
The flexible nationwide implementation and approach sparked a great deal of interest and there were more than 200 applicants for this exclusively web-based training.
The HUS Helsinki University Hospital has been arranging study nurse training annually since 2017. The only exception was year 2020 when no training was arranged because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Remote learning does not require absence from work or commuting to a different town, and participants can complete the assignments at their own time and in smaller sections,” Professor Pitkäranta says.