Job of a Registered Nurse

January 4, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Registered nurses are one of the most versatile and rewarding roles in the nursing industry and the demand for them is growing rapidly. Working as an RN can be very satisfying and it is also an excellent stepping stone if you decide you want to advance in your nursing career in the future.

Registered Nurse Job Description

Students with their mentor on the labour wardRegistered nurses are team players. They typically work together with a larger medical in all areas of health care including intensive care, operating rooms, clinics, doctors’ offices and ambulatory care.  The exact duties an RN performs depend heavily on where the place of work. For example, those who work in hospitals are more likely to be in fast-paced situations with long, irregular hours whereas an RN in a doctor’s office is more likely to work regular hours in a typical 40-hour week.

While the primary focus is on patient care RNs also serve in a supervisory role to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing assistants.

Here are some of the job functions you will do daily in your role as a registered nurse.

-Assessing patient symptoms

-Recording patient symptoms

-Dressing wounds and incisions

-Helping doctors during examinations and surgeries

-Reviewing patient treatment plans and measuring their progress

-Teaching patients the basics of self-care and healthy habits

-Acting as supervisor to some nurse categories

-Lab work

With a wide range of responsibilities and duties, you need to be a special kind of person to become a registered nurse.

Education & Certification Requirements

Proper training in an accredited course is the key to becoming a registered nurse. Aspiring RNs can choose between a Bachelor’s of science in nursing degree, a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing.

An associate’s degree in nursing can get you on the job faster than other degree programs. With an associate’s degree, graduates can apply for entry-level jobs and jump into the fray right away. The nursing diploma is offered by hospitals, usually in association with a community college. They train students to offer nursing care in hospitals and inpatient environments.

The traditional BSN course takes four years to complete and gives nurses the opportunity to work in a larger variety of settings, including critical care.

RNs with an associate’s degree or diploma can progress in their profession by taking the 2 to 3 year RN-to-BSN path. The schedules of these courses tend to be more flexible. In addition they also offer credit for work experience as they are primarily designed for working nurses.

Getting ready to observe a delivery at Morogoro Hospital, TanzaniaAfter obtaining your RN degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) before you can start practicing.

RN career paths

There are several career paths that you can choose to follow after graduating from registered nursing school and getting certified. Some of these include:


-Nursing homes

-Physician’s office

-Home health care services

-Military nursing

-Travel nursing

Different career paths offer a different set of perks and bonuses. For instance perks of joining the military as an RN include reimbursement of tuition, specialized training and the opportunity to travel the world.