Registered Nurse Job Description

WHAT DO REGISTERED NURSES DO?

Registered nurses (RN’s) give the sick and ailing care in healthcare facilities and homes. They work as part of a team with physicians, other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide care, monitor health conditions, plan long-term care needs, administer medicine, use medical equipment, perform minor medical operations, and advise patients and their families on illness, care and continued care after a hospital stay.

Registered nurse jobs can vary greatly depending on where they work. They might be in more of a presentational, educational or advisory role, making presentations to groups, or working in hospitals, hospices, private homes or with pharmaceutical or medical supply companies.

HOW MUCH DO REGISTERED NURSES MAKE?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RN’s made a median hourly income of $31.10, or $64,690 a year.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Registered nurses can must have one of the following: a bachelor's of science in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, or have graduated from an accredited and approved nursing program.

In addition, licensure is required, and may be obtained from graduating an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Depending on the state, there may be other requirements.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Critical-Thinking Skills: Registered nurses will need to assess a patient's health, as well as detect changes in symptoms, health or pain, and will need to know when action is necessary.
  • Compassion: Nurses help people. You will need to be sympathetic to a patient's needs, and be able to deal with people in various states of pain, trauma and tragedy.
  • Attention to Detail: Nurses can help doctors operate, administer medicines and work with specific treatments that, if wrong could prove fatal. Attention to detail is crucial.
  • Organizational Skills: Nurses will face multiple patients, with differing needs, stages of health and risks. Being organized and knowing how to prioritize will be helpful.
  • Calm Under Pressure: Nurses might face emergency, life-or-death situations. Being able to function in the heat of emergency will be necessary.
  • Patience: Giving care under stressful circumstances requires patience.
  • Communication Skills: You will be communicating directly with patients who are scared, in pain or in shock. Families will have questions and want answers. You will need to be a patient listener and good communicator to help keep everyone calm and help them understand the situation.

CAREER PATHS FOR REGISTERED NURSES

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
Head Nurse

THE FUTURE OF REGISTERED NURSES

With aging baby boomers and more medical advancements, registered nursing jobs will grow steadily through 2020, according to the BLS. Jobs are expected to grow 26% in that time period, must faster than the average.