Nurses on television are not always a good representation of what nurses actually do. Registered Nurses (RNs) are among the most versatile nurses in the field, which means they’re not limited to working in hospitals. RNs can also work in community clinics, schools, assisted living facilities, a patient’s private residence, even in foreign countries doing humanitarian work. Nursing is a practical skill set with a compassionate core, and that’s something you can apply to almost any part of life.
What Does a Registered Nurse Do?
Basic Duties of Registered Nurse
Nursing responsibilities vary greatly depending on the needs of the healthcare setting. In an average day, RNs may administer medication, consult with doctors, monitor patient vitals, educate family members, and maintain medical records. They also stay up-to-date with the latest tools and technology in order to provide the best care possible to patients and families. Outside of patient care, RNs can eventually attain leadership positions in healthcare facilities and hospitals, as well as advisory roles in non-profits or humanitarian organizations. RNs may choose a speciality within the medical field to advance their career path in several exciting directions.
Job Settings for Registered Nurses
A Registered Nurse can be found in many unique environments and settings. Each nurse will find her niche in an environment that suits her temperament and benefits most from her skills.
RNs who work in hospitals support patients and doctors in every corner of the hospital. Job titles include things such as cardiac care nurses, nurse managers, perioperative nurses, surgical nurses, and labor and delivery nurses. Average shifts in a hospital can include admission and discharge, issuing of medication, patient assessments, vital signs, charting, and more.
Clinic RNs may be responsible for getting exam rooms ready, checking equipment, turning on computers, and completing charts for the day. A slow day in a clinic may see fewer patients but they are generally very busy places. Clinic nurses often check height, weight, and other vitals for patients checking in and issue follow-up tests when prescribed.
Critical care RNs are also known as intensive care nurses, treating patients with life-threatening conditions in need of constant care. Nurses who work in critical care have the title of trauma nurse, ICU nurse, or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse. This requires a nurse assume several important responsibilities for sick and dying patients, life-saving procedures, and treating serious injuries.
Nursing is a Career of Caring
Healthcare is about more than tests and meds. A registered nurse will help patients feel comfortable and safe in times of need. The support system is the critical main vein of the medical establishment and nurses fulfill one of the most vital roles. All RNs have plenty of common qualities which include critical thinking, problem-solving, and perception of patient needs. They also require more subtle qualities like compassion, warm bedside manner, and communication skills. RNs are invaluable members of a medical team who provide compassionate, attentive care in a fast-paced and rewarding environment.
Ready to Become a Nurse?
If you feel the calling, then there’s no sense in waiting. Speak with an admissions counselor to lay the groundwork for your future career in nursing and see what a difference you can make!