The PCIR nursing staff provide nursing care to adult research patients and study participants. Research participants are seen on an out-patient basis. When a study requires the use of scatter beds, our staff coordinate with Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital at Meharry. We have an all-registered nursing staff, who are trained in research nursing, good clinical practice, and the IRB’s required CITI course. Additionally the nursing staff are required to attend meetings for clinical protocol training. The nurses provide direct and indirect patient care. They spend additional time completing management support activities. Prep-time includes preparation of the protocol, consent forms, and HIPAA addenda for submission to the IRB. Regulatory documents are also part of the prep-time. The nurse coordinator for each study educates the staff about the study and ensures that the protocol is followed. The staff cross-train to support each other when a coordinator is on leave. We have a beeper for 24-hour access for patient/nurse contact to address adverse events. Nurses provide support in community health outreach and assistance with Spanish.

Sample Processing

The PCIR Receiving Laboratory/Sample Processing Core draws and processes blood and urine for distribution to relevant core facilities for analysis. This core lab is also available to clinical investigators for sample processing and has two bench-top centrifuges, a microhematocrit, and two blood-drawing chairs. An additional laboratory is available to process 24-hour urine samples for shipping. There are also two refrigerators and an ultra-low freezer available for storing biological samples.


  • Centrifuges (Beckman Coulter - Allegra X-22 and X-22R)
  • Enterprise Refrigerator
  • Ultra-low Freeze (VWR Signature Model 5606)
  • American Scientific Products Biofuge A Microhematocrit
  • Cell-Dyn 3500 Hemoglobin Analyzer (Pediatric Research Laboratory)
  • Dupont Super-Speed Centrifuge (Pediatric Research Laboratory)
  • Waters HPLC (Pediatric Research Library)

Education and Training

Education/training is provided for all interested parties including clinical faculty and staff via the RCMI Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative (RCRII).  The format is a monthly hour-long seminar, beginning in August of each year and ending in May. Speakers from Meharry are invited to share insights relevant to initiating, sustaining, and navigating the field of clinical research.