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

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
49%
2 - 4
16%
5 - 7
0%
8+
35%

Common Skill Sets

CCRN
Critical Thinking
CPR Certified
Excellent Communication
Written Communication
ICU
BLS Certification
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Registered Nurse Seniority Levels

L2
Registered Nurse
$70,043/yr
L4
Registered Nurse Case Manager
14% made the transition
Nurse Practitioner
28% made the transition
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Registered Nurse Salaries

Average Base Pay

$70,043 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$49K
Median: $70K
$100K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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