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Registered Nurse (RN) Overview: What is a Registered Nurse?
Registered nurses (RNs) are individuals who have completed all of the necessary educational and licensure requirements as set forth by the Board of Nursing in each state. RNs often perform a wide range of duties, including assessing and evaluating patient care, administering medications, using medical equipment to run diagnostic tests, educating family members and patients on diseases and treatments, documenting patient information and vital signs, developing nursing care plans, and much more.
Nurses typically work under the authority of a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Registered nurses often delegate responsibilities to Licensed Pracital Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) depending on their scope of practice and competencies.
Nurses make up an essential part of our healthcare system, and make up the largest number of the healthcare occupations. According to the BLS statistics, over 60% of Registered nurses work in a hospital setting, while others work in other settings such as Physician’s offices, outpatient facilities, and home-health agencies.
Registered Nurse Salary: RN Salary Overview
Registered nurses often earn a very competitive salary due to the educational requirements and high employment demand of the occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average registered nurse salary in the United States is $63,750. The average hourly wage of a registered nurse is $30.65. Keep in mind that these are only averages, and that a registered nurse may make more or less than these amounts based on location, experience, and other factors.
The experience of a nurse will often inpact income earnings. For example, a new graduate RN often makes less income than a nurse with many years of experience in many different specialties. In addition, location can also impact pay and wage rates. A nurse in New York will probably earn a higher salary than a nurse in a small town in Tennessee. This is due to the higher costs of living in larger cities as compared to smaller towns. You can check the average RN salary data for your particular state for more information.
Nursing Jobs and Career Outlook
The registered nursing profession continues to be in high demand. In fact, the BLS has projected that registered nursing will be the fastest growing occupation from 2008-2018. This high demand for employment, along wtih a high income potential, makes nursing an excellent profession for individuals of all ages to enter.
As a registered nurse, you can often find employment in a large range of specialties and areas. Jobs are available at hospitals, schools, private organizations, government organizations, and even private duty. Within any given job type, nurses can often specialize in a large number of areas, such as cardiac nursing, wound & ostomy nursing, oncology, orthopedic, nephrology, pediatrics, labor and delivery, critical care, and much more.
To browse nursing jobs available, or to learn more about individual specialties and job-related resources, then just visit our rn jobs section. On this page, you can browse current job openings and postings, as well as more information about specialties, statistics, career tips, and more.
Nursing School: Information and Overview
One of the most important things aspiring nurses should do is to locate and enroll in an accredited nursing program. An accredited nursing school will give you the experience and knowledge you need to become a successful nurse and to complete all necessary educational requirements so that you can take the NCLEX test for proper licensure. This test is usually administered by the Board of Nursing in the state of the resident, which typically grants licenses. You will want to visit our Board of Nursing page to find the contact information for your state’s Board of Nursing, so you can keep up with the latest news, laws, requirements, and to renew licenses.
The time it takes to complete nursing school can range from 2-4 years, depending on the student’s course load (curriculum), as well as the type of degree. Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) typically only takes 2 years, while a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) takes up to 4 years to complete.