Registered Nurse Career Path And Overview

Registered Nurse Career Path And Overview
Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

  Job Duties of a Registered Nurse

Assess health problems and condition of patients
Record patients health symptoms and health history
Administer nursing care, medicines, and treatments to patients
Set up and maintain treatment plans and care plans for patients
Observe and monitor patients condition and record the observations
Operate and monitor medical equipment
Assist with diagnostic tests and analyse the results
Educate patients and families on how to manage an illness before, during, and after treatment
Consult and collobarate with doctors and other healthcare professionals

In addition to above core job duties, registered nurses may have additional job duties specific to their specialization (Example: Oncology nurses, Geriatic nurses, Pediatric nurses, etc.)

Registered nurses job duties will also depend on the where they work (Example: hospitals, nursing and home care facilities, outpatient care centers, government services, educational services, etc.)

  Qualities of a Registered Nurse

Communication skills
Organizational skills
Detail oriented
Critical thinking skills
Emotional skills
Compassion and Empathy
Physical stamina

Registered nurses must have good communication skills to effectively instruct patients and families on care and treatment instructions.

Registered nurses must have good organizational skills to take care of multiple patients, and must be detail oriented to ensure patients receive the correct and precise treatments and medicines, and at the right time.

Registered nurses will be in close touch with human suffering and emergencies and they must be emotionally resiliant to cope with this stress. In addition they should have empathy and compassion to be able to care for the patients.

Registered nurses must be physically fit and must have stamina to be on their feet for most of their shift. They should be able to perform physical tasks including lifting and moving patients.

  Salary of a Registered Nurse in USA


Registered nurses in USA earned a median of $77,600 in May 2021. i.e. half of registered nurses earned below $77,600 and half earned above that.

The lowest 10% registered nurses earned less than $59,450 and the highest 10% earned more than $120,250.

The mean annual wage for registered nurses is $82,750

The salary of registered nurses vary widely based on the job location and experience. The mean annual wage in california is $124,000 while that in Florida is $72,000.

Source: BLS

  Job Outlook for Registered Nurse

Projected growth: 6% from 2021 to 2031
Number of jobs in 2021 - 3,130,600
Projected number of jobs in 2031 - 3,326,000
Average annual job openings - 195,400

Number of jobs for registered nurses is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, with about 203,200 openings expected each year, over the next 10 years.

This projected growth is attributed to the increasing number of older people who would need nursing care.

Some of this growth is also attributed to the expected need to replace registered nurses who retire or move to other occupations.

Source: BLS

  Education Requirements For Becoming A Registered Nurse

Education LevelMajorRequirement
AssociateAssociate's Degree in Nursing (ADN)Required
AssociateAssociate of Science in Nursing (ASN)Recommended
Bachelor'sBachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)Recommended
Master'sMaster of Science in Nursing (BSN)Recommended

Entry level nurse jobs require a diploma, associate, or a bachelor's degree along with a nursing license.

Though diploma is the minimum degree required, most employers, specially hospitals, require a bachelor's degree and hence most nurses with a diploma or an associate's degree go back to school to get a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's degree is also required to grow in the nursing career, specialize as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), or oversee other registered nurses

Master's degree in nursing is required in certain leadership positions in hospitals as well as in government.

  Top Colleges For Becoming A Registered Nurse

University of Pennsylvania
Emory University
Duke University
University of Michigan
Case Western Reserve University
The Ohio State University
University of North Carolina
University of Washington
New York University
University of California Los Angeles
  Top Certifications For Becoming A Registered Nurse

Certification or LicenseProvider
Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification (RN-BC)The American Nurses Credentialing Center
Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (RN-BC)The American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine
Critical Care Nursing Certification (CCRN)American Association of Critical Care Nurses
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC or FNP-C)American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Hospice Nursing Certification (CHPN)The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center