There were more than 2.6 million registered nurses employed in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Labor Department, plus another 718,000 licensed practical and vocational nurses and tens of thousands of nurse practitioners and other advanced specialists. RNs made nearly $68,000 per year on average in 2012, and the Labor Department expects employment to grow by more than a quarter between 2010 and 2020.
Registered nurses are one of the most versatile and rewarding roles in the nursing industry and the demand for them is growing rapidly. Working as an RN can be very satisfying and it is also an excellent stepping stone if you decide you want to advance in your nursing career in the future.
Registered Nurse Job Description
Registered nurses are team players. They typically work together with a larger medical in all areas of health care including intensive care, operating rooms, clinics, doctors’ offices and ambulatory care. The exact duties an RN performs depend heavily on where the place of work. For example, those who work in hospitals are more likely to be in fast-paced situations with long, irregular hours whereas an RN in a doctor’s office is more likely to work regular hours in a typical 40-hour week.
While the primary focus is on patient care RNs also serve in a supervisory role to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing assistants.
Here are some of the job functions you will do daily in your role as a registered nurse.
-Assessing patient symptoms
-Recording patient symptoms
-Dressing wounds and incisions
-Helping doctors during examinations and surgeries
-Reviewing patient treatment plans and measuring their progress
-Teaching patients the basics of self-care and healthy habits
-Acting as supervisor to some nurse categories
With a wide range of responsibilities and duties, you need to be a special kind of person to become a registered nurse.
Education & Certification Requirements
Proper training in an accredited course is the key to becoming a registered nurse. Aspiring RNs can choose between a Bachelor’s of science in nursing degree, a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing.
An associate’s degree in nursing can get you on the job faster than other degree programs. With an associate’s degree, graduates can apply for entry-level jobs and jump into the fray right away. The nursing diploma is offered by hospitals, usually in association with a community college. They train students to offer nursing care in hospitals and inpatient environments.
The traditional BSN course takes four years to complete and gives nurses the opportunity to work in a larger variety of settings, including critical care.
RNs with an associate’s degree or diploma can progress in their profession by taking the 2 to 3 year RN-to-BSN path. The schedules of these courses tend to be more flexible. In addition they also offer credit for work experience as they are primarily designed for working nurses.
After obtaining your RN degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) before you can start practicing.
RN career paths
There are several career paths that you can choose to follow after graduating from registered nursing school and getting certified. Some of these include:
-Home health care services
Different career paths offer a different set of perks and bonuses. For instance perks of joining the military as an RN include reimbursement of tuition, specialized training and the opportunity to travel the world.
Study Nursing at American International Medical University (AIMU)
American International Medical University (AIMU) is an institutional partner of Washington Medical Science institute and the Government of Saint Lucia. AIMU’s US Campus /Clinical Admin is centrally located at the Washington Adventist University and Hospital Campus, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA.
At AIMU, our mission is to prepare highly dedicated students to become effective, successful Physicians & Nurses by focusing on imparting the knowledge, skills, and values required for our students to establish a successful path in their career.