REGISTERED NURSES, (RNs) care for the sick, injured, and other patients. They provide for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of their patients. They observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress of patients; help doctors during treatments and exams; administer medications; and help in convalescence and rehabilitation. They also perform interventions aimed at improving health. They develop and manage nursing care plans, and instruct patients and their families in proper care. They help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health. They may be assigned to surgery, maternity, pediatrics, intensive care, emergency room, or other hospital units.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $65,500 average per year ($31.50 per hour)
- A very large occupation (2,655,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.2% per year)
REGISTERED NURSES may qualify for entry level positions with a diploma, associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. Associate degree programs are offered by community or junior colleges and take about 2 years. Bachelor's degree programs are offered by colleges and universities and take 4-5 years. Diploma programs are given in hospitals and last 2-3 years. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to graduate nursing programs. All registered nurses are required to be licensed in order to practice.