If you are someone who is caring, and empathetic and also has an interest in helping others through challenging times in their lives, then the field of nursing may be for you. In today’s world, there is a constant demand for qualified nurses to aid in the care of patients with acute or chronic illnesses.
The responsibilities of a Registered Nurse (RN) vary from location to location. However, most nurses have similar duties that revolve around monitoring patient health and ensuring they receive appropriate care and services when needed.
What Does a Registered Nurse Do?
Registered nurses are the backbone of most healthcare facilities, from hospitals to doctor’s offices. If you become an RN, you can expect to do a wide range of tasks, from administering medications to assessing a patient’s overall health and wellness.
There are also several nursing specialties. Acute Care Nurses provide short-term care for patients who have been recently hospitalized. The goal of this specialty is to get patients back on their feet and back home as soon as possible. Critical Care Nurses work in areas such as the emergency room, operating room, or Intensive Care Unit (ICU). These nurses may have to assist with life-saving procedures, such as administering CPR.
Emergency Room Nurses provide initial treatment and care to patients who come to the emergency room. They may also help decide which patients need to be admitted to the hospital for further care. Neonatal Nurses care for newborn infants who are born prematurely or have health issues. They also assist with the care of the mother, who may be at risk of complications during childbirth.
Pediatric Nurses care for children from newborns to teenagers. They may assist with basic health care, such as giving vaccinations and monitoring growth. Geriatric Nurses work with elderly patients who may have special healthcare needs due to age. Some may specialize in helping patients with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurses care for women who are pregnant or are in the process of being surgically or medically treated for a reproductive health condition.
How to Become a Registered Nurse
In order to become a registered nurse, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) from an accredited school. To earn your RN license, you’ll need to have at least one year of hospital experience, which can typically be completed through a work-study program.
There are a few other things you’ll need to keep in mind as you pursue your nursing degree. You’ll need to maintain a certain GPA during your undergraduate studies. Your GPA will also be factored into your entrance exam scores.
Nursing programs are highly competitive. You’ll likely face stiff competition for acceptance into a program, especially if you’re pursuing a BSN. Nursing programs are hands-on so you’ll be expected to participate in clinical experiences, which means hands-on interaction with patients and real-world healthcare scenarios.
You’ll also need to pass a licensure exam after graduating from nursing school. You’ll be expected to maintain your RN license by continuing your education as new medical discoveries and treatments are discovered.
Should You Become a Registered Nurse?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a nurse, you may be wondering if now is the best time to do so. The good news is that the nursing industry is projected to grow by about 16 percent between now and 2026. This means there will be plenty of job opportunities, so finding a position should be relatively easy.
Another consideration is the potential for career advancement. Some nurses choose to earn higher degrees such as a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or a doctorate in nursing (DNP) in order to advance their careers. This may allow you to become a nurse practitioner, clinical leader, or executive director in your current facility.
Financial Aspect of Nursing
Nursing is an in-demand profession, which means you’ll have plenty of job prospects and employment options. You’ll need to be prepared and have the right skills and experience necessary to succeed in the field. If you become a nurse, you can expect to earn a good salary.
There are many benefits to becoming a registered nurse, such as flexible work schedules, job security, and the potential to earn a good income. Depending on your specialty, your salary could range from approximately $47,000 to above $70,000 per year. In addition to earning a good salary, you may be eligible for health insurance and other benefits.
However, the amount you make will depend on which state you work in and the type of nursing you specialize in. Registered nurses who work in hospitals are typically paid on the higher end of the scale.
Career Path for Registered Nurses
The path to success in nursing is a long-term investment of time and effort. It’s not uncommon for people in this field to spend a decade or more in school and on the job. Once you’ve earned your RN license, there are many ways to advance your career.
You can specialize in a particular type of patient care, such as pediatrics or neonatal care. This may lead to better job opportunities in the future. You can also earn a higher degree, such as a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or a doctorate in nursing (DNP).
You can pursue leadership roles in your current facility or hospital. This may lead to a promotion and increased salary over time. Changing your focus and working in a different medical field is also an option.
Unfortunately, people will always get sick and need medical attention, so registered nurses will always be in demand. If you’re someone who likes to help others, enjoys a challenging career, and has the patience to deal with challenging patients, then this is an ideal career path for you. You will make a difference in every patient that you touch if the career is meant for you.