This issue we interview Nick Berte, MSN, RN the Research Program Manager with the Office of Research, Patient Care Services (ORPCS). Read more to learn about Nick’s unique role and why he moved from ICU nursing to supporting research and clinical trials.
Meet the Expert – Nick Berte, MSN RN
Nick Berte, MSN, RN has worked with Stanford since 2013. We interview Nick to better understand his role with the research department and his critical bridging of research between the School of Medicine and Stanford Hospital.
QUESTION: Can you explain your current role with the Office of Research?
ANSWER: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about this important role in the Office of Research Patient Care Services (ORPCS). The responsibilities of the Research Program Manager are varied. In addition to managing the day to day operations of the office, I serve as a liaison and envoy to the School of Medicine research staff and negotiate research services on behalf of Stanford Health Care (SHC). In this capacity, I develop research budgets, ensure adherence to quality, compliance, patient safety standards, and collaborate in research planning activities. I also serve as a clinical research expert to provide guidance and education for implementation of projects, collaborate with all areas of patient care services, provide research training and education, represent ORPCS to internal and external committees, and ensure regulatory compliance.
QUESTION: What inspired your transition from an ICU nurse into working full-time in research?
ANSWER: I have always been passionate about both critical care nursing and research. Both have intertwined themselves in my education and career and presented themselves in different ways over the years. For me, a pivotal moment that drove my decision to transition to clinical research was learning about the varied roles that nurses play in clinical research trials. Not only do nurses conduct their own trials, but they also play an important part in facilitating, conducting, ensuring safety, and serving as patient care experts in clinical trials across the spectrum of health research. Knowing that I could practice nursing in a way that generates new knowledge and potentially improves the lives of many inspired me to explore opportunities in clinical research.
QUESTION: How has your role evolved over the last several years? What departments do you work with at Stanford?
ANSWER: As the Office of Research has expanded, so has my role. When I first started in 2016, we were just beginning to establish standardized ways to provide services and ensure successful implementation of projects. Today we serve a robust spectrum of clients and provide full-scale research services. The ORPCS works across the health care enterprise and connects with almost all SHC departments.
QUESTION: What is your involvement with the School of Medicine (SoM) clinical trials?
ANSWER: One of my true passions is working with clinical trials. My involvement in these research studies, however, drastically varies depending on the requirements of the individual project. Typically, I help physician researchers assess feasibility, identify barriers to implementation, identify potential risks to patients, staff, and the organization. Additionally, I develop research budgets, allocate SHC resources, connect various SHC service lines or departments with the study team, negotiate SHC services, ensure appropriate staff education and staff ratios, review facility capabilities with sponsors, and ensure compliance to research regulation. In short, my role is to act on the behalf of SHC when clinical trials are implemented in SHC spaces.
QUESTION: How do you disseminate knowledge about clinical trials to nursing?
ANSWER: Many of the clinical trials that I work with have very small enrollment targets meaning there will be very few patients seen for that specific trial at SHC. In some cases, trials may need as few as 1-10 patients over two years. Because of the low enrollment goals and large quantity of studies, I help develop individualized dissemination plans for each trial that target only the clinical spaces that the patients interact with. Generally, I provide a study summary to the unit/department leadership team that can be later disseminated to the staff. In other cases, just-in-time education is provided only to the staff caring for the patient.
QUESTION: Can you describe your experiences with clinical trials and the role you play with nurses?
ANSWER: I have had a very positive experience working with clinical trials and nurses at SHC. As we continue to advance health care research, we will see clinical trials that are more complex and require more inpatient time. Because of this, we have to both assess needs and move to embrace the varied needs of these trials in our clinical space.
QUESTION: Is there anything else you want to share about yourself to our nurses?
ANSWER: I want all staff at SHC to know that they can always reach out to our team at email@example.com for any research related questions. The Office of Research offers a wide breadth of research related services and we are always happy to assist in any way we can.
Article By: Monique Bouvier & Sana Younus