HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2023

Janice Nissen

Speaker at Nursing Conferences - Janice Nissen
Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, United States
Title : How nurses can prepare for a career in the life science industry: The certified nurse medical affairs professional program


There have been a host of recent surveys with nurses trying to understand the factors leading to the high turnover of those that are working at the bedside.  This turnover trend is concerning given that this level of job dissatisfaction is occurring among the segment that represents the largest percentage of health care workers.  According to a McKinsey & Company 2022 study 32% of nurses surveyed plan to leave their current position.  The top factors cited were insufficient staffing levels, seeking a higher paid position, and not feeling supported. 1 In addition family demands, emotional toll and lack of career opportunities were also factors.  Currently over 60% of nurses are employed in a hospital setting, the balance in other sites of clinical care such as physician offices, home health, clinic, rehab, or school settings. 2 However, most nurses are not familiar with life science careers, and therefore have never considered this segment as a career option.  The life science industry is a $43B industry that is growing annually and employs over 500,000 workers with a mission that is very aligned to the mission of nurses-to transform health and healthcare.

Life science organizations have several roles that require medical and clinical background and expertise. Roles such as pharmacovigilance, product safety, medical writing, clinical trial management, patient engagement, marketing, and sales.   Nurses have several attributes that are valued in life science, specifically, they are critical thinkers, innovators, agile, good communicators and empathetic.  Finally, nurses are taught to be an advocate for the patient, who is the ultimate recipient of life science innovations whether they are new pharmaceutical treatments, devices, diagnostics or technology. 

Even though nurses possess a set of competencies that can be applied to the life science industry nurses are unfamiliar with how the pharmaceutical and device industry operates, as life science development, business model and operations is not part of the standard curriculum for nursing baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral programs.  Given that many nurses are seeking career advancement and flexibility, many life science roles can be done either remotely or in a hybrid fashion offering nurses more options in their schedule.  In addition, typically the life science industry has a strong compensation and benefit package and opportunities to advance.

The Certified Nurse Medical Professional is a first of its kind program that will educate nurses on the life science industry.  Specifically, the program outlines how products are developed, regulations surrounding development, details on the various roles within life science and the competencies required, and how to transition from a traditional clinical setting to the life science industry.  By completing this 12-hour program, nurses will be well positioned as they apply for the many roles within the life science industry. 

The Certified Nurse Medical Professional program will be available through the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, a leading organization for credentialed education.  Not only is the program credentialed, but it also offers Nursing continuing education credit.


Janice (Jan) is both a health care professional and a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive, who has developed commercialization strategies at two multinational pharmaceutical companies, Merck, and Abbott Laboratories.
This work included numerous first-in-class products with market leadership and favorable outcomes for patients. She led an enterprise-wide, global strategy of incorporating patient input into the companies’ value chain, from discovery through patent expiry, resulting in products that were more relevant, valued, and accessible.
Jan served on the executive committee of a non-profit board in Nicaragua, Clinica Verde. She is currently consulting with the NIH Foundation on patient engagement strategies to support their public-private partnerships, and building a first of its kind educational curriculum for nurses interested in a life science career with the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs.  She is also serving as an advisor to Press Ganey on customer experience in clinical trials.
Jan has a BSN from University of Illinois Medical Center, MBA from Lake Forest College and a Masters in Population Health from Thomas Jefferson University.  She also serves on the Medical Reserve Corp in Pennsylvania.