Advanced Practice Nurses - An Untapped Resource in Clinical Research (Panel Discussion)

On Demand Webinar

Presented by: Liza Behrens MSN, RN, CCRC, Past President, IACRN; Lead Virtual Education Planner, IACRN Education Committee & Independent Clinical Research Education and Training Consultant

APN’s are primed to discuss, educate and refer patients to clinical trials yet they remain an untapped resource. In the drive for GCPs in research care it is imperative that the education and training needs of APN’s be explored. Current evidence tells us that APN’s may need education about the benefits and burdens of clinical trials and the associated ethical concerns, however recent dissemination S&S of practice for CRN’s indicates that the needs for training and education may be broader.

This webinar will be a discussion with Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist APN’s. In a Q&A format speakers will be asked a series of questions regarding their practice setting, practice background and training, care practices for research and non-research participants and opportunities to contribute expertise to the clinical research process. Attendees can use this information to promote research collaborations and improve training and education of APN’s on the research team.


Webinar_presenter_Behrens.pngModerator: Liza Behrens MSN, RN, CCRC
Past President, IACRN; Lead Virtual Education Planner, IACRN Education Committee
Independent Clinical Research Education and Training Consultant

Liza Behrens, MSN, RN, CCRC serves as the Immediate Past President for the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN). Ms. Behrens has been a clinical research nurse for over 10 years. She joined the IACRN in 2009, attending its inaugural conference. She became Chair of the IACRN Education Committee shortly after in February 2011, where she facilitated building the structure and goals of the committee along with the development of the first web-based educational content for membership. Ms. Behrens was elected as President-Elect of IACRN in January 2012 and has remained on the Board of Directors since. Ms.  Behrens is the Project Coordinator for the Program for Person Centered Living Systems of Care and a PhD Candidate at the Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing where she is focusing the study of older adults. Specifically, her research interest is in examining the use of person centered care to maintain autonomy, dignity and respect for older adults living with dementia in long-term care.


Jamila Brutus-904922-edited.pngPanelist: Jamila Brutus, RN, ANP-BC

Ms. Brutus began her career in hematology-oncology as a registered nurse in 2005, at New York University Langone Medical Center. As a registered nurse, she cared for patients with complicated medical issues, administered chemotherapy, and built strong patient- nurse relationships. Her passion for oncology and the patients she cared for inspired her to further her education. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Adult Primary Care from New York University in 2012. The same year she joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a Nurse Practitioner on the inpatient Leukemia Service.  In this role her responsibilities includes managing oncological emergencies, collaborating with interdisciplinary members to provide expert care to leukemia patients, and managing patients on phase one clinical trials. Her experience as a nurse practitioner has given her the opportunity to work closely with patients and their families in the management of leukemia.


Mary Sullivan-Whalen-971597-edited.pngPanelist: Mary M. Sullivan-Whalen, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, MPA

Ms. Sullivan-Whalen is as a Research Family Nurse Practitioner. In this role she is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the clinical aspects of dermatology studies (psoriasis, eczema, and atypical moles) at The Rockefeller University Hospital and the Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology.  This includes writing the clinical protocol, obtaining IRB approval, recruitment, conducting study visits, and data entry. Stud visits activities typically include informed consent, medical history, physical exam, clinical disease assessments, skin biopsies, patient education, and study drug administration.

Ms. Sullivan-Whalen is an integral member of the clinical team as well as the liaison between the research staff in the basic science lab and the research staff of the outpatient clinic where research participants are seen.  Her team is quick to provide educational classes as dictated by new upcoming studies and to meet the needs of the research nursing staff. She enjoys organizing, implementing and successfully executing clinical trials often resulting in groundbreaking research while still connecting with patients assisting and encouraging them to take part in research protocols.


Georgie Cusack.jpgPanelist: Georgie Cusack, MS, RN, AOCNS

Georgie Cusack is the Director of Education and Outcomes for the Office of the Clinical Director, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She has 31 years of experience working in oncology and clinical trials settings as a Staff Nurse, Breast Cancer Research Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Hematology/Oncology and Outcomes Research, Nurse Consultant, and Director of Research Nursing and Education. She received her Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees in Nursing from the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. 

Ms. Cusack has served as a member of the Radiation Safety IRB, and was an alternate for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute IRB from 2004-2010. She participated in the development of the “Fundamentals of Clinical Trials” Course for research nurses and “Clinical Trials: What Nurses Need to Know” for Nursing and Patient Care Services. Georgie was a member of the Clinical Research Nurse Domain of Practice and Role Delineation Teams, and currently serves as a member of the CRN Education and Competency team.

Ms. Cusack was a member of NCI/All Ireland and NCI/Mid East Consortium Teams providing ongoing clinical trials training for nurses in Ireland and oncology training for nurses in the Mid-East.  She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on oncology and clinical trials subjects and has published several book chapters and manuscripts relating to the above. She is an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS), the International Society of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN), the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) and the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC). She has participated on several national and international committees for each organization. She is certified as an Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS® and received an award for the Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (AOCNS®) of the Year in 2013.