Registered nurses are a vital part of the foundation of any healthcare facility. They work under doctors and provide basic medical care, such as treating injuries and illnesses. On any given day, a registered nurse might:
Accurately record a patient's medical history and current health complaints.
Administer treatments and medicine.
Monitor patients, observe patient progress, and communicate their findings to the patients' doctors.
Provide emotional support for patients.
Educate patients on healthy practices and how to continue treatment at home.
Some registered nurses choose to pursue a certain specialty. For example, they may become a diabetes nurse, a neonatology nurse, or a dialysis nurse.
RN Job Education Requirements
Before a nurse can obtain a license, he or she must have the proper education. While the educational paths to becoming a registered nurse vary, all education programs include lessons in anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and several other vital health-related areas. A registered nurse may embark on a career with an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or a certificate from a nursing program.
It is not uncommon for nurses to start out with an associate's degree in nursing and work while studying to obtain a bachelor's of science in nursing. Some registered nurses even obtain a master's degree.
Nurse candidates must also cultivate certain personality traits, such as attention to detail, compassion, and good spoken communication skills.
RN Job Market
There are abundant job opportunities for RNs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of registered nurses in the country will grow almost 20 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate that is faster than the average across all occupations. The richness of openings is due in part to the aging population.
However, it is not just geriatric nurses that have plenty of options for employment. The healthcare industry needs competent nurses in every sector, from hospitals to small clinics and for every specialty.
RN job seekers with a bachelor's degree are highly desirable to employers, especially if they have a few years of work experience to complement their education.
RN Job Salary Information
Registered nurses make a good hourly wage, enough for a comfortable lifestyle. The average pay per hour is slightly over $30, and the median annual wage is $65,000. The top 10 percent of earners make roughly $95,000.
Working as a registered nurse involves shift work, and sometimes the work environment is stressful. However, for people who are passionate about helping others become healthy, it is a rewarding and worthwhile profession.