What does a Registered Nurse do?
Registered nurses (RNs) assess and evaluate patient conditions, and then plan, implement, provide, and document patient care in a manner that follows professional nursing standards and outlined practices. RNs usually do all of this in conjuction with doctors, nursing assistants, and other healthcare professionals. RNs oftentimes have a specialty; common specialties include labor and delivery, oncology, critical care, medical-surgical, and much more. Most RNs work in state, local, or private hospitals.
RNs need to have graduated from an accredited nursing program, typically obtaining a Bachelor's degree in nursing, and possess a license in the state they want to work in. To become licensed, they must take and pass the NCLEX-RN, which is the national licensing exam, and complete any additional licensure requirements, as determined by the state of practice. The best RNs are compassionate, observant, and detail oriented.
- Provide all patient care in a manner that reflects respect for patient rights, dignity, values, culture preferences, and expressed needs
- Assess patient's physical, psychological, and social needs
- Assess pain and implement appropriate pain management techniques
- Develop, implement, and revise care plans that reflect patient's diagnosis and outlined standards of care
- Involve patients and/or significant others in decisions regarding care
- Document patient history, symptoms, assessments, tests, and care according to guidelines
- Review patient history, diagnostics, and lab data, and report any abnormalities
- Educate patient and family on managing injuries and illnesses to ensure a safe and successful discharge
- Administer medicine and treatment to patients
- Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from an accredited school of nursing preferred
- Must possess a current, valid RN license in state of practice
- Certification in CPR
- 2 years of experience in a healthcare related field preferred
- Excellent communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to maintain a high level of professionalism during stressful times
- Strong critical thinking skills
- Dedicated to provide the best patient care possible
- Must have general working knowledge of computers and department specific software
Registered Nurse Salaries
Average Base Pay
Registered Nurse Career Path
Learn how to become a Registered Nurse, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Registered Nurse Insights
“The care staff is exceptional and I feel very good about the care we deliver to our residents.”
“You see so many pts that you see everything so it’s an awesome learning experience but definitely can be overwhelming”
“Company will not fold; you may enjoy working with Soldiers and veterans; pay is good”
“Working somewhere you feel supported and appreciated as a person diem employee is a great feeling”
“I have a great team I love to work with and I can’t really complain about that”
“Nice place to work when you want to work and have a nice place to go to”
“It is flexible hours job.You work when you want to do it .There are nice staff.”
“Most are horrible with horrible patient ratios but some are better only because the staff are great to work with.”
Registered Nurse Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of registered nurses
Registered nurses assess and monitor the condition of patients, and provide these patients any appropriate care. They often assist doctors in medical procedures, administer prescribed treatments, perform diagnostic tests, and operate medical equipment as required.
Registered nursing is a highly respected career and nurses are the backbone of medical facilities. Caring for people is more of a vocation than a job, and while stressful, it can be extremely rewarding. Registered nurses get to make a difference in people's lives every single day.
Yes, registered nursing is a well-paid job. The average base pay for a registered nurse in the United States is $87,503 per year. Entry-level nursing positions may pay $62,985 but senior nurses can earn over $121,566.
Working as a registered nurse can be a hard job. In a hospital, the hours are long and nurses spend much time walking and standing. At busy times it can be stressful. However, it comes with the reward of being able to make a true difference in the lives of patients.