Registered nurses (RNs) are the backbone of almost every health care
facility in the nation. RNs provide patients with treatment and education,
as well as participating in patient care evaluation and discharge
planning. Responsibilities of a registered nurse may include
understanding, administering, and evaluating the effects of a wide range
of medicines, operating and interpreting intricate life saving equipment,
and being caring and sympathetic to patients with severe injuries and
illnesses. There are many specialties that an RN may choose such as
intensive care, pediatrics, gerontology, surgical care, psychiatry,
oncology, orthopedics, administration, or education. Registered nurses are
also in charge of supervising other nursing staff such as licensed
practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Anyone
interested in entering this field of nursing should be well organized,
able to work well under pressure, able to form and maintain good
interpersonal relationships, and have the ability to handle emergencies
calmly. Academic ability and good study habits are also necessary for any
student who is considering a career in nursing. Nursing is one of the most
challenging and rewarding health careers and requires hard work and
dedication to be successful.
Registered nurses work in hospitals, nursing homes, public health
departments, clinics, schools, physicians' offices, home health agencies,
rehabilitation centers, mental health institution, the military, and
industrial or corporate sites.
High School Preparation:
Students interested in a career as a registered nurse should take courses
in biology, chemistry, algebra, geometry, psychology, sociology, first
aid, foods and nutrition, health occupations/medical professions
education, physical education, English, computer skills, and foreign
Individuals interested in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (B.S.N.)
must complete a four-year collegiate program. Students who have an
associate degree in nursing may enroll in a BSN completion program. The
curriculum in these programs is usually divided between nursing and
liberal arts/sciences. These programs include supervised clinical nursing
experience that is provided in hospitals and other health care facilities.
After receiving the B.S.N., students are eligible to apply to take the
national licensure exam to become a Registered Nurse. Baccalaureate
programs provide the foundation for a student to continue his or her
education in a masters degree program or higher.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
According to the US Department of Labor, nursing is the largest health
care related occupation in the country. It is also a profession that is
experiencing a nation-wide shortage. Employment opportunities for
registered nurses are excellent and are expected to grow 21%-35% through
the end of the decade. As the "baby-boom" generation becomes increasingly
older, the number of people who will require medical care is projected to
grow very rapidly. There will also be a demand for nursing educators who
will be responsible for teaching the next generation of talented nurses.
Another area of expected growth is in advanced training and
Average Annual Salary
$41,300 to $58,400
American Nurses Association
600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 W.
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 651-7000
31 Woodgreen Place
Madison, MS 39110
Phone: (601) 898-0670
RN Associates brochure
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