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Rigorous training, rewarding job : Nurse practitioners in demand as health care field changes

It wasn’t until Darlene Sawicki was in her mid-30s and working in research at a Massachusetts General Hospital neurology clinic that she found her true calling.

During a particularly intense clinical trial that required her to put in long hours, Sawicki said she bonded with the nurses there.

At one point they looked at her, and said: “You are a nurse.”

But Sawicki, who was at the time the site director for the neurology clinical trials unit at MGH, felt too old to start a

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