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A focus on the Career of a Registered Nurse-

Updated on August 29, 2015

Job Description

The main job description for registered nurses is to conduct an evaluation on the healthcare issues and needs of patients. They are also mandated to design and implement health care plans alongside maintaining medical records. Registered nurses are also charged with administration of care to injured patients, those who are the ill, disabled or convalescent. They are as well provide advice and counseling to their clients on issues ranging from disease prevention and health promotion and provision of healthcare case management. Job duties for RN include maintenance of detailed and accurate records and reports, reporting and monitoring disease symptoms as well as changes pertaining to the health condition of the patient. Additionally, registered nurses are also mandated to design and make specific modifications in regard to patient’s treatment plans as shown by the patient’s responses and conditions. More functions include making orders, interpretation and evaluating diagnosis tests for the purpose of identifying and assessing the health condition of the client. Registered nurses are also mandated to recommend or prescribe medical treatments, drugs and other type of therapy including inhalation therapy, physical activities and other related therapeutic processes (Draper et al, 2011).

Education and Certification

In order to become a registered nurse, one has first to complete a high school education program and a post-secondary program. This could either be a diploma or a degree. In this postsecondary program, aspiring nurses are introduced into such topics as human development and anatomy while gaining extensive supervised clinical experience. Prior to commencing practice, nurses are expected to be licensed in their states and they need to undertake and pass a specific exam (Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).

Students of nursing could choose from different education options in becoming registered nurse. Some teaching hospitals provide a diploma program which runs for three years, though such programs are quiet rare. Majority of RNs have a bachelor or an associated degree in nursing. Associate Degree Programs in nursing are available at vocational and community colleges and runs for 2 to 3 years. These programs combine classroom instruction with practical training in clinics, hospitals and other healthcare settings. A bachelor’s degree on the other hand, is a more comprehensive training for nurses which is offered in colleges and universities. Registered nurses with diplomas may opt to purse bachelors or associate degrees later in life (Draper et al, 2011).

In order to work in the profession, a RN must be issued with a license. In American perspective, each state has its own licensure requirement. However, the main factor in this requirement is the passage of training programs that are state approved, as well as the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The main element included in these tests includes health promotion, physiological and psychosocial integrity and infection control. Depending on a particular state, registered nurses may need to meet more licensure requirements (ANA, 2015).


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), reports that for the profession of registered nurses, the growth of jobs was anticipated to be19% in the years 2012 to 2022. In practical sense, this is one of thefasted job growth among all the occupations. This points out that as a profession, there are many job opportunities for registered nurse. The faster growth of employment for registered nurses is attributed to a number of factors. Among these include the increased need for enhanced healthcare services, an emphasis on preventative care, emergency of high rate of chronic ailments including diabetes, obesity and high demand of healthcare from increased number of baby boomer generation. The current average salary for registered nurses is $67,220.

Generally, job prospects for registered nurses are anticipated to be favorable. Specifically, those with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) have better opportunities comparing to those with diplomas. There is a tendency for employers to prefer candidates whohave some level of work experience when compared with those with no experience. Job opportunities for registered nurses are good because of the necessity of replacing workerswith those who retire and increased access to healthcare services.

Professional Activities

Professional nursing organizations both at the state and national level offer nurse practitioners an opportunity to connect with their colleagues in the specialty. They also enable them to share practices, learn new technical and educational advances and new trends in the field. The various nurse associations are also helpful in advancing one’s career alongside providing opportunities for networking, whether one is a student, a graduate or seasoned profession. Among these organizations include

  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Association of Nurse Midwives (AANM)
  • Transcultural Nursing Society (TNS)
  • Rural Nurse Organization (RNO)
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)
  • National Association of Catholic Nurses (NACN)
  • National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
  • National League for Nursing (NLN)
  • Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF)
  • National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NSDO)

For most of these organizations include the American nurse Association, undergraduate students may be allowed to become members for free. However, some organizations require students to join at a relatively discounted rate.

The law requires registered nurses to undertake at least 30 hours of continuing education for every two years in order to maintain an active license. Courses in continuing education have to be completed during the preceding period of renewal or when going from an inactive role to an active role. The courses taken during the continuing education have to be approved by a recognized board of RN. Such programs are expected enhance the knowledge of registered nurses at a level required for licensure (Board of Registered Nursing, 2015).


To me, nursing is not only a job but a great one. This is where one gets the opportunity to work with people in all walks of life. As a nurse, I understand that my work impacts on people in so many ways which they may not forget easily in their lifetime. When people go in a health care setting for treatment, they do have expectations that their deteriorating health will change positively. As a nurse, I am expected to provide care to patients at their most frightening or challenging times in their lives. This makes the profession of nursing to be unique.


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