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
Students entering a master's level degree program must have a B.S.N from
an accredited educational institution. Masters programs offer courses of
study for clinical specialists, education, and administration/management.
Masters education includes the study of concept, theory, and research.
Additionally, a master's degree provides advanced preparation for nurse
practitioners and nurse anesthetists. After receiving a master's degree,
nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists must pass a national
certification examination in their area of specialty in order to practice
in their expanded role.
The Ph.D program is given jointly by the University of Mississippi Medical
Center and the University of Southern Mississippi. Students must have a
master's degree to be considered for this program. This highest level of
education is designed to develop leaders in the field of nursing who can
conduct valuable research on clinical outcomes.
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
$45,200 to $148,500
American Nurses Association
600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 W.
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 651-7000
American Academy of
PO Box 12846, Capital Station
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 442-4262
31 Woodgreen Place
Madison, MS 39110
Phone: (601) 898-0670
Masters & PhD brochure
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