The registered nurse RN is the most abundant job in the health care field. This is because nurses are the staff member who interface most directly and often with patients, carrying out a wide variety of health services. Long hours and demanding work require that those who wish to become registered nurses be truly devoted to providing care for others, as such a passion will often be required to pull through difficult times on the job.
What to Expect as a Registered Nurse RN
One never truly knows what to expect when working as a registered nurse RN, but there are a variety of services which are typical to most days on the job. For instance, registered nurses are often charged with checking patients into a facility, which includes taking their vital signs and managing their charts, as well as with administering basic care and medication to patients. Routine medical procedures such as drawing blood or giving injections often falls to registered nurses as well, so one must be prepared to perform all of these tasks. Specialized registered nurses may also work in special departments such as radiology or physical therapy, providing these kinds of services to those in need. Trauma nurses may have to administer emergency care to patients in life or death scenarios, and as such, need to be physical and mentally prepared for such a task.
Education, Training, and Certification for a Registered Nurse RN
One becomes a registered nurse RN by following one of three courses towards a nursing degree. One might earn a bachelor of science degree, an associate degree in nursing, or a basic non-degree diploma from a nursing program at an accredited university. Generally speaking, the more demanding the educational program in question, the more employment opportunities the registered nurse will have at his or her disposal.
In addition to these types of degrees, most registered nurses will also have to be licensed to practice in their particular state, which frequently requires undergoing some degree of specialized training (often, this might be paid for by employers).
It is typical for nurses to gain specialized skills on the job as they are called upon to perform new and innovative medical procedures as required.
Employment Options for a Registered Nurse RN
There are a huge number of employment options available for registered nurse RNs. For instance, nurses may work in a general hospital environment, performing a variety of a procedures, or they may specialize in areas such as providing care to patients suffering from addictions, those suffering from genetic disorders, skin disorders, gastroenterology disorders, urological disorders, and so on. Nurses may also work as mid-wives, specializing in delivering babies. They may also specialize in forensics, working with victims of abuse and violence and helping to investigate their cases.
Employment Outlook for a Registered Nurse RN
Nurses are virtually always in demand, as the high level of stress associated with the job results in a high degree of turnover. Those who wish to become registered nurse RNs should have little difficulty finding work, but one must bear in mind that the number of available jobs tends to vary by what region one lives in, so one may well have to move where the work is, so to speak.
Projected Salary for a Registered Nurse RN
Registered nurse RN positions usually pay fairly well, to compensate employees for the degree of training they must undergo, as well as the high level of stress associated with the job itself. The median salary is $62,450, with the highest rates going to those working in employment services ($68,160) and general medical and surgical hospitals ($63,880).
The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013 ©2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Material "Adapted"