Nursing
Registered Nurse

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Salary: $42,302 - $64,613
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Hourly: $23.24 - $35.01
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 2-4 years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Registered Nurses (RNs) observe patients to assess symptoms, reactions to treatment, and progress. They administer medications, perform therapeutic procedures, and instruct patients and their families in proper healthcare practices. RNs supervise licensed vocational nurses, nursing assistants, patient care assistants, and home health aides. Working in collaboration with physicians and other members of the healthcare team, RNs develop and implement a plan of care to help the patient achieve optimal health.

Nurses must observe strict safety guidelines to minimize threats posed by infectious diseases, chemicals, medications, electrical equipment, and compressed gases.

Areas of Specialization
Registered nurses are qualified for specialty practice at two levels: basic and advanced. These levels are differentiated by education. RNs with an associate degree (ADN), diploma in nursing degree or a bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN) practice at the basic level. Advanced practice nursing requires additional education at the master’s level. There are many specialty practices in the nursing profession. Some nurses work with patients in a particular age group, such as children or older adults. Other nurses specialize in specific illnesses such as neurological disease, heart problems, pregnancy, diabetes, and emotional disorders. Still other RNs become consultants, educators, administrators and researchers.

Work Environment

Registered Nurses have many options in work settings. They can work in hospitals, physician offices or clinics, home healthcare, correctional institutions, and schools. In hospitals and clinics, nurses often can choose specific patient groups or kinds of nursing care for their day-to-day work: pediatrics or geriatrics, women’s health, labor and delivery, cancer, surgical, intensive care or emergency are just a few of the options.