Duties and Essential Information about Becoming a Registered Nurse written by: Topcontentcreator Registered nursing is a challenging career but definitely rewarding. As a registered nurse (RN), one gets a chance to work alongside physicians in hospitals or other healthcare settings to provide care and make a real difference to people’s lives. Not only does this occupation offer new and exciting challenges with each new day, but there’s always the opportunity to grow your career. Many people working in advanced positions as nurse educators, nurse researchers, hospital administrators and healthcare consultants began their career as registered nurses. Going back to school for further education is always an option and many employers offer education benefits to their staff. So, aspiring RNs should be happy to know that they won’t be stuck doing the same thing every day for the rest of their career lives.
Pros and Cons of Being a Registered Nurse
– Highly rewarding
– It offers a chance to help people in need of medical assistance
– The salary is quite good
– Nursing is one of the top in demand jobs and fastest growing occupations
– It has job security
– RNs can work in a variety of medical settings
– RNs also enjoy flexible work schedules
– The occupation has many career growth opportunities
– There so many specialties to choose from
– The tasks can be challenging and stressful
– Long working hours can lead to burnout
– RNs are exposed to tragic situations, particularly having to watch someone they cared for die
– RNs have to handle hazardous drugs or substances and come into contact with patients battling infectious diseases
Registered Nurse Job Description
Registered nurse encompasses a highly diverse group of medical professionals who work to ease and prevent human suffering due to injury and illness. Registered nurses work in many different roles, from provision of bedside care to research and consulting. Their efforts play an important role in ensuring that people have access to high-quality healthcare so they can lead productive and fulfilling lives. They typically work in hospitals (most common), clinics, physician offices, nursing homes and long-term care institutions, home healthcare agencies, hospice and palliative care, schools, community health agencies, correctional facilities and other organizations in which medical care is provided. For the most part, registered nurses provide care to individuals who have suffered injury or illnesses. They are trained and qualified to perform minor treatments, utilize important medical equipment, assist doctors and consult with physicians regarding patients’ care, come up with patient care plans, administer medications, and educate the public on health-related topics, such as injuries, illnesses, recovery, nutrition and exercise.
Registered Nurse Duties
– Administering medicine
– Creating patient care plans
– Preparing and operating medical equipment
– Assisting doctors in medical procedures
– Performing and interpreting medical diagnostic tests
– Performing minor medical procedures
– Observing patients
– Keeping medical records
– Providing support to patients’ families
– Coordinating care among a team of medical professionals
– Delegating tasks to LPNs and CNAs
– Educating people on various health issues
How to Become a Registered Nurse
Becoming a RN requires the completion of an accredited training program that includes extensive, supervised clinical training (practicum rotations). Basically, there are three ways to get training required to become a RN. Aspiring RNs can begin their paths to this field by enrolling in: diploma, associate degree or bachelor’s degree. These programs are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce with the necessary skills and competencies, and provide both theoretical and clinical knowledge that is essential for comprehensive primary care in a variety of settings. The curriculum for these programs include courses like anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, psychology, sociology, English and writing, and several semesters of nursing coursework. Nursing programs also seek to provide a balance of classroom-based lectures, hands-on training and clinical experiences. Clinical practicums allow students to develop technical skills, critical thinking ability, and effective communication skills. Students may receive clinical training in medical clinics, public health facilities, hospital departments and home health agencies. Graduate of these programs are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Registered Nurse?
Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN) programs take 2 years to complete, while Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs typically last 4 years. Diploma programs can take anywhere between 2-3 years to complete. Accelerated BSN programs, designed for those students who already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field of study, typically last 1-2 years.
The initial educational requirement for students looking to become RNs is to earn a high school diploma with a GPA of at least 2.0. Aspiring RNs should take high school classes in first aid, chemistry, biology, anatomy and other health sciences. Because RNs are required to explain the treatment options and tests to patients and their families, taking courses in communications, English or related subjects is highly encouraged. Students interested in enrolling in nursing degree programs are also required to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. In addition, prospective RNs need to comply with practicum requirements such as CPR training, health and immunization records and criminal background checks.
All nurses, including RNs, must be licensed by the state in which they work. The licensure requirements typically vary by state, but they include passage of an accredited training program and the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). The NCLEX-RN exam is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and covers a range of topics, and is designed to measure the competencies, knowledge and skills that new registered nurses need to possess in order to perform their jobs safely and effectively.
In order to begin practicing as a RN, individuals must earn certification from their state’s Board of Nursing. Certification allows candidates to legally work as a registered nurse in their state. To qualify for certification, prospective RNs must have completed an approved nursing program and then passed the NCLEX-RN, which is a computer-adaptive exam. Candidates may also be required to meet several other jurisdictional testing and licensure requirements, such as health screenings and background checks. State and regional boards of nursing receive student’s exam results and issue certification to the candidate, enabling them to practice within the state.
Registered Nurse Job Outlook
In the United States, registered nursing is currently a high-demand profession and one that is critical for the successful running of healthcare facilities. It is, therefore, not surprising that the occupation offers a career with exceptionally strong job prospects. The labor Department has predicted a very positive job outlook for this field in the coming years. According to their statistics, employment of RNs is projected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022. The increased demand for licensed registered nurses can be attributed to the existing shortage of qualified RNs across the country. This shortage has been brought about by a number of factors and is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare expands. Compounding the problem (though it’s good news for those coming into the job market) is the fact nursing schools are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for nurses given the national move toward healthcare reform initiated by the federal government.
Employed people, by detailed occupation and gender, annual averages
Diagnostic related technologists and technicians
Total employed 2892 (Numbers in thousands)
Percent Women 90.1%
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
(2) Women in Labor Force: http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/women-in-the-labor-force-a-databook-2014.pdf