Registered Nurse (RN)

What do Registered Nurses do?

Registered nurses (RNs) make up the largest health care profession today. RNs are at the highest level of nursing, and may choose to pursue several career options, such as specializing in a particular field of nursing, moving into supervisory positions, or even opening their own nursing care businesses.

In a clinical setting, a registered nurse generally performs basic bedside care, with the addition of other clinical tasks, depending on experience.

RNs may also choose to pursue any of several nurse certifications in order to enhance their specialization and increase their employability.

RN responsibilities can include:

  • Taking patients’ blood or urine samples
  • Administering intravenous (IV) treatments
  • Operating medical machinery
  • Administering medicine to patients
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Contributing to patient rehabilitation, including physical and emotional therapy
  • Keeping track of patient treatment and medical prescriptions to avoid adverse reactions
  • Consulting with physicians on medical treatment
  • Counseling patients and their families on treatment options, providing emotional support when needed
  • Delegating responsibilities to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nurse assistants (CNAs)

Registered Nurse Specialization

RNs who choose to specialize in a particular area may work with a specific group of patients, such as children or the elderly, or they may specialize in a particular disease, such as cancer, diabetes or mental disorders. They can also specialize in the treatment of specific body parts, types of injuries, or in specific areas of the hospital, such as intensive care or the ER.

Nurses who specialize are generally higher paid and more in-demand than non-specialized RNs. Click to see RN salaries, or find out how to become an RN.

Registered Nurse (RN) Salary

How Much do Registered Nurses Make? Most registered nurses earn between $47,700 and $69,800 annually, with the highest-paid nurses earning a national average of over $83,400. RN salaries vary with the specialty performed, region of employment, size of employer and … Continue reading