Registered nurses are in high demand in the US healthcare industry for reasons like aging population, advancement in terms of technology, and most nurses retiring. Due to this fact and the many benefits it entail, many people are looking at becoming registered nurses to be their career path of choice.
If you are looking into becoming one, it would be helpful to have:
- Social skills
- Compassion for taking care of others
- Ability to think on your feet
- Problem solver
- Excels in team work and collaboration with other healthcare professionals
What is a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who is able to graduate from a nursing school program and has met all the requirements needed by the state or country for obtaining a nursing license.
What do they do?
RNs do a lot of jobs but in general, they typically do the following tasks:
- Monitor, keep a record and make a report of symptoms, changes, and behavioral of a patient
- Maintain accuracy in providing reports
- Take vital signs and do patient’s charts
- Interpret and evaluate tests provided by a physician and order requests made by doctors for the assessment of the patient’s condition
- Modification of treatment plans based on the response of patients
- Supervise LPN, LVN, and CNA or other healthcare professionals
- Consult and regroup with unit to study, implement and evaluate patient plans
- Instruct families, individuals and the public about health education
- Prepare or assist in patient treatment or examination
- Monitor diet, physical activity and all aspects of patient care
Where do they work?
- Private and public hospitals
- Doctor’s offices
- Emergency rooms
- Intensive care units
- Psychiatric care facilities
- Community centers
- Healthcare facilities
- Schools and universities
- Pharmacy and laboratories
- Research centers
How much do they make?
Based on the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered make a median annual pay grade of about $66,220, the lowest being $45,630 to a maximum of $96,320.
As of 2014, this is the list of the top five highest paying states for RNs:
- California – $94,120
- Hawaii – $84,750
- Massachusetts – $83,370
- Alaska – $80,970
- Oregon – $78,530
How to become a registered nurse?
Diploma. This program is usually administered in healthcare facilities like hospitals and is the least known or choice among nursing students. It can take about three to four years of classroom training and clinical instructions.
Associate Degree (ADN). This program lasts for two years which focus on the technical aspects and applications of nursing with classroom discussions and clinical trainings. This is the most popular program among nursing students although according to statistics, most return to school to get their BSN.
Bachelor Degree (BSN). This program lasts for four years and is generally more in-depth and comprehensive as compared to the first two programs. It focuses on human development and the behavioral aspects applicable to the nursing profession. This program is divided into two parts: two years general science and two years nursing practice with clinical experience in a healthcare facility.
- Decide on where you wish to get your nursing degree from but most importantly, you must choose whether you wish to get a nursing diploma, associate degree or bachelor degree.
- Graduate and finish program of choice (diploma, BSN, ADN) which often include the following: anatomy & physiology, microbiology, nutrition, patient care, statistics, biochemistry, nursing research, and the like to name a few.
- Study and pass the NCLEX-RN provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
- Get and obtain your state license.
- Get and obtain your first employment as an RN.
What else can you expect from being a registered nurse?
Besides being a registered nurse, getting certifications and sub-specialty training or further education can enable an RN to work as:
|Acute Care Nurse||Addiction Nurse|
|Burn ICU Nurse||Cardiac Care Unit Nurse|
|Community Health Nurse||Coronary Care Unit Nurse|
|Gastroenterology Nurse||Genetics Nurse|
|Labor & Delivery Nurse||Neonatal Nurse|
|Neurosurgery Nurse||Oncology Nurse|
|Operating Room Nurse||Pediatric Nurse|
|Psychiatric Nurse||Radiology Nurse|
|Surgical/ICU Nurse||Trauma Nurse|
Other than these specialty nursing jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has also projected a 19 percent increase in the demand of nursing job, making it a good career prospect for all.
What kind of nursing organizations are associated with being an RN?
- American Nursing Association
- National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners
- National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
- National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care
- National Association of Disease Management & Wellness Professionals
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- National Association of Neonatal Nurses
- National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
- National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National Association of School Nurses
- National Association of School Nurses for the Deaf
- National Association of Rural Health Clinics
- National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
- National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing
- National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations
- National Gerontological Nurses Association
- National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
- National League for Nursing
- National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
- National Student Nurses Association