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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.

Hospital

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.

Clinics

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

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!

Passing NCLEX Study tips and tricks

Successfully challenging the NCLEX exam is possible. Preparation begins on the first day of nursing school. The Nursing curriculum is built to provide students with the opportunity to learn the core concepts necessary to pass NCLEX and to step on the floor as a new graduate nurse.

Organization is the key. You must have a designated space to study and you must have your materials and supplies ready. Textbooks, review guides, index cards and colored markers should be kept organized and accessible. Time management is also important. For example, if you have one hour to study, how can you make the most of that hour? You could spend 15-30 minutes reading, 15 minutes reflecting and making notes and 15 minutes with review questions.

How are you doing in your other courses? Students who are successful with NCLEX are often very successful in nursing school. Developing good study habits can result in better grades and translate to NCLEX success. How are your critical thinking skills? Are you able to solve problems and to find ways to be successful? Do you need to seek tutoring assistance from one of your classmates or instructors?

The NCLEX is designed to assess your ability to be a safe and competent nurse. Nurses are expected to have a strong knowledge in nursing content and be able to critically think your way through the problems. This comes with good study habits and with strategic use of practice questions. Get help from your instructors and classmates if you are having difficulty with organized study and review. If you study smart and work hard, you can be successful in nursing school and with NCLEX!

Nursing School is over! What next?

Completing nursing school and passing NCLEX is not the end for nurses. Nursing is a profession with a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. There are so many options available for nurses. It is important to work where you have passion and interest. Otherwise you are working at a “job” instead of having a career (Buffington, Melynyk, & Neale, 2018).

When you are working where your interests and talent are a great fit, you and your patients will have a better experience. When you have found a position, you can choose to work or consider returning to school for additional education.

While working, you will evolve from “novice to expert.” This means that you will start as a new nurse and eventually, you will gain enough experience to be considered an expert at providing patient care. This is a complex process and does not occur overnight. You can pick up tips and best practices from your preceptors and colleagues.

Consider joining a nursing organization. This is important for networking and for continuing education opportunities. There are numerous organizations for nurses. Some are general, and some are specific. Many of them have their own peer-reviewed publications. This is where evidence for clinical practice can be found. Initially, you may want to join a general organization, such as the Ohio Nurses Association.

When you have gained more experience or switched to a specialty area, you should join the organization for your specialty. Remember that nurses are professionals committed to lifelong learning. This does not end when nursing school ends. It begins.

 

Reference

Buffington, B. C., Melynyk, B. M., & Neale, S. (2018, June). Career wellness. American Nurse Today, 13(6), 20-21.

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