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Registered Nurse Earnings Potential and Career Facts

Registered Nurse Career Facts

- It's the largest health care occupation, boasting more then 2 million jobs 
- Earnings are above average

Registered Nurse Career Description

The purpose of a registered nurse is to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients deal with the illnesses that happen to come their way. They may help with administrative duties as well. Registered nurses assist physicians during treatments and examinations as well. Specific responsibilities tend to differ from office to office but they tend to work very closely with the office manager and the physicians they work under.

Registered Nurse Career Details

By far the largest groups of nurses are those that work in a standard hospital. They work closely with incoming patients. This may include giving certain tests and preparing them for examinations with doctors. Office and laboratory work might also be part of their routine. They are usually rotated between surgery, maternity, pediatrics, emergency room and intensive care units. Another aspect of the work day might include assisting a doctor by dressing wounds, injecting a shot, or even assisting with a minor surgery. In terms of administration, registered nurses might be required to monitor records and contribute to them. Such duties characterize nurses who work at clinics, surgical centers, and emergency medical centers.

Other nurses may find themselves in nursing homes which naturally involves a different kind of work day. They must deal with patients with conditions ranging from Alzheimer's to broken bones. They will monitor the occupants' conditions and keep records. Some patients may need help with rehabilitation. Sometimes nurses will be required to make house calls. They might assess the home living environment and naturally take care of the occupants in need. The illnesses they encounter tend to vary, and can include ailments from disease to simply childbirth recovery.

Registered nurses can also find themselves taking on the role of a counselor. This position is often accompanied with a degree of responsibility and compassion. Communication skills to better reach the various types of patients they will encounter will also help. In all, this is a job for the genuinely caring and concerned. Those who wish to alleviate suffering should definitely look further into this line of work.

Programs to Consider:

Registered Nurse Career Specializations

There are plenty of areas for nurses to specialize in. They can choose to emphasize their studies in areas such as home health, public health, and occupational health. Some nurses may reach the advanced level and become registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.

Registered Nurse Career Working Environment

In terms of working conditions, being a nurse is often exemplified by working in healthcare facilities. These are usually very positive yet stressful environments. Nurses can expect to be very busy, and to have much demanded of them. Social and emotional stability is a must; they will surely come across awkward situations with respect to the various patients they come into contact with. Registered nurses tend to work nights, weekends, and even holidays. Some nursing homes even require 24 hour care.

Registered Nurse Career Required Training

Like most medical professions, the process to become a nurse can be both demanding and complicated. Aspiring nurses must attend an accredited nursing program and then pass a national licensing program. The classes can be attended at one of three places. The first option is to get an associates degree in nursing. Junior Colleges usually have programs offering such a certificate. Another route is to earn a bachelor of science in nursing. The last possibility involves getting a diploma. The diploma and the associate's degree take between 2-3 years to complete, while the bachelors degree usually takes about 4. After finishing the diploma or associates degree, many students enroll in a bachelors program to further their education in the nursing arts. This also broadens their opportunity in terms of what jobs they qualify for. All nurses must pass a test in order to get their license. Before this they must graduate from an approved program. They can be licensed in more than one state should they so desire, but must be willing to go through certain agreements with the various states involved. Nurses will be expected to take refresher courses and renew their licenses on a regular basis.

Registered Nurse Career Coursework

The typical nursing curriculum includes both classroom instruction and interning under the supervision of professionals in the field. The classes students will take will of course have a heavy emphasis on science, including anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. Students will also touch upon an education in the liberal arts. Students will also intern in a clinical setting in various departments to gain hands-on training. Such departments may include surgery, psychiatry, and maternity.

Registered Nurse Career Future Job Outlook

As with most medical fields, this is a job that is projected to grow in the coming years. The health field is always in need of newer and better workers. This is partly because the median age of nurses is quite high, which means there could be thousands upon thousands of jobs to fill in the near future. The number of older people is increasing as well, so in-home nurses and those specializing in the elderly should find work relatively easily.

Registered Nurse Salary

Median salary for 2010- $64,690

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