Work under the supervision of doctors
Provide expert health care, support, assistance, and information
Manage the care of individual patients
Consult with attending physicians
Work in hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes, and clinics
Keep detailed records
May work days, nights, weekends, or holidays
Training usually lasts three to four years
Need a license
Earn $51,020 per year (national average)
State Government Titles
Public Health Nurses
Representative Occupation Titles
Community Health Nurses
Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses
High-Risk Prenatal Nurses
Registered nurses provide patients and their families with expert health care, support, assistance, and information. They manage the care of individual patients in both medical and nonmedical settings, consulting with attending physicians, other nurses, therapists, and patients and their families.
Registered nurses provide direct care to patients. They monitor the well being and progress of a patient through conversation, physical examination, and administration of treatment. They are the primary link between patients, the hospital or other care facility, and such primary care providers as doctors and therapists. They need to understand the patients' health problems, their physical and emotional response to their health and treatment, and the alternatives that are available to treat or support them. They are responsible for providing compassionate and personalized care in highly automated and technologically advanced settings that could otherwise be impersonal and intimidating.
In addition to giving direct care, registered nurses guide and supervise other nursing and support personnel. They also promote good health habits by educating people about disease prevention, physical fitness, nutrition, coping with stress, and other health-related topics.
hot occupation This is a Hot Occupation. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 27?
Many people in this occupation are self-employed.
Career Cluster and Pathway
Health Science Career Cluster
Therapeutic Services Pathway
Hours & Conditions
Registered nurses usually work 40 hours a week. Some work night or evening hours and they may be required to rotate shifts. Registered nurses also share weekend and holiday hours, or come in when it is their turn to be on call.
Registered nurses work in many different settings. These include offices, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care centers, factories, fitness centers, and private homes. They also work for community and public health agencies and schools.
Pros & Cons
Registered nurses get a great deal of personal satisfaction out of working with and helping people. They have many different kinds of job opportunities, increasing pay and benefits, and the opportunity to work flexible hours to meet family and personal needs. There are also many career paths and opportunities for advancement.
Sometimes they dislike the pressure of the work, especially in emergency situations. Registered nurses may also feel that they have more work responsibilities than their schedules allow them to complete.
Programs of Study
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
Critical Care Nursing
Method of Entry
Registered nurses must complete programs approved by the state and accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN). The NLN recognizes baccalaureate degree, associate degree, and diploma programs. A high school diploma is required for entry into any of these programs. Graduates of accredited schools must successful complete the NCLEX examination for registered nurses in order to be granted a license in most states.
Four-year colleges and universities offer baccalaureate programs. The course of study combines education in the theory and practice of nursing with general education in the humanities and behavioral, biological, and physical sciences.
Associate degree programs are usually offered in technical colleges. These two-year programs offer both general education and nursing experience.
Diploma programs are hospital-based and offer a wide variety of hospital experiences, along with principles of nursing and classes in basic sciences and humanities. Diploma programs are not transferable for college credits and, therefore, do not prepare nurses for advanced training or degrees.
Employers contact schools to recruit qualified applicants. Some advertise position openings in newspapers and professional publications. They also hire qualified individuals who apply to them directly.
Some Healthcare Programs May Have Waiting Lists
Currently, there is a high demand for jobs in health care. The high need for skilled healthcare workers has, in turn, caused a high demand for healthcare programs. Helpful hints for those interested in 2-year healthcare programs include:
* Apply early. The sooner you apply, the sooner you'll get into your program of choice.
* Gather information. Program requirements vary, so visit the campus website to learn more about what they expect of you and what you can expect of them. This will save you time and effort and improve the likelihood of success.
* Don't be discouraged. Being on a long wait list doesn't always mean that you'll have a long wait. Many factors affect these lists, such as students applying to multiple programs or changing their minds.
* Be flexible. Consider on-line courses or campuses other than your first choice.
Answered By: Jackie A - 7/18/2008