A Registered Nurse (RN) is a title given to a health practitioner that has fulfilled the basic requirements of getting a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and can directly care for a patient. There are currently different nurse types in the U.S.A (we’ll discuss them further), but an RN is more recognized than the others.
A Registered Nurse is different from a regular nurse. While the Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) act as assistants to both the nurses and doctors, an RN can directly take care of the patient.
The first professionals they ever contact are nurses and mostly the RN for patients. As a Registered Nurse, you provide reliable information to your patients. Information about diseases and public and private health information falls within your purview. Some people see the RN as the doctor's right hand since they may be open to interpreting most diagnoses released by the physician.
What is a Registered Nurse Supervisor?
A Registered Nurse Supervisor is a trained nurse in the art of supervision of all nurses in a team. The job is to ensure that all Registered Nurses follow a line of ethics in offering patient care. Besides the formal education all Registered Nurse Supervisors receive, the dream supervisor is to be dedicated, kind, and firm in all decisions.
The Registered Nurse Supervisor is often known as a "Charge Nurse” in many health facilities, especially hospitals.
Everything this manager of nurses does is to ensure the patients are well taken care of and the nursing staff performs. Among the many duties, enforcing the policies of the health facility management is the utmost priority.
The duties of the supervisor involve:
Preparing the schedule or roster for the team
Prepare reports and statistics for the management
Handling all-new Registered Nurses, offering training and guidance
Ensure that all policies and regulations set in place are obeyed
Being in charge of informing the patient's family of new situations or doctors' orders
Assign nurses to patients
Confirm that all nurses follow the compliance rules set for Registered Nurses
Registered Nurses who want to further their careers and become supervisors must fulfill specific requirements. Further certifications, for one, are required. In addition, you would need several years of experience as a practicing nurse in a clinical facility and a deep understanding of medical legislation.
You may also need specific general computing skills for proper documentation and tracking of patient data. You'd also have to be open to treating all types of people irrespective of their beliefs and yours.
You may also need to undergo further training in emergency safety and human resource (especially as you may be involved in the hiring process of new RNs).
Are There Different Types of Registered Nurses?
As a matter of choice, all types of RNs are in high demand. So getting that degree in nursing opens you up to lots of opportunities. If you're seeking to choose which options are available, below are some nursing jobs to consider.
Family Nurse Practitioner
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is also known as the general care nurse. As an FNP, the nurse generates treatment procedures for the patients. They are also allowed to prescribe medications.
Becoming an FNP requires a master's degree.
Critical Care Nurse
This RN is majorly involved in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They are involved in treating special care victims, majorly those in a coma. You don't need another certification to work in this role. This role would best suit people who are calm and have patience in dealing with stressful situations.
Labor and Delivery
If you are interested in caring for pregnant women/expectant mothers, the Labor and Delivery RN is your bet. These sets offer support for mothers in the OB/GYN unit and extend the care to newborns. In addition, you can care for expectant mothers since you can also work in the gynecology unit.
The Home Health nurse is predominantly involved with patients in nursing homes. However, if you choose this path, your focus may be on patients with terminal illnesses, the elderly, and all others who need the assistance of a nurse.
Becoming a Registered Nurse in neonatal care is related to newborns. These children may be born with a severe illness and be in hospital for treatment. You'd also be taking care of babies born prematurely.
As a consultant nurse, your primary duty is to evaluate how nurses handle patient care. They go around hospital wards to assess patient services. They also go ahead to make recommendations, inputting opinions into different treatment plans.
The military nurse works directly in military hospitals, including Veterans' clinics. As a rule, the US military requires all its nurses to be registered, holding at least a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Oncology RNs care directly for patients with cancer. They are a crucial part of the doctors’ team involved in formulating a treatment plan and helping the patient undergo the process.
What Work Does a Registered Nurse do day to day?
The Registered Nurse title comes with different duties, depending on the facility and patient. However, there are general duties that an RN usually carries out daily. They offer patient services in various categories. They include:
Use of medical tools
Offer all sorts of therapy for patients
Primary care of the patient
Offer health advice to the patients
Administration of medications, including injection
Documenting patient information and accessing medical history
Prepare patients for examinations/surgery
Where Do Registered Nurses Work?
Registered Nurses do not work only in hospitals. With your bachelor's degree, there are many industries within the health sector you can find yourself working. They include, but are not limited to:
Hospital setting: nursing homes, private clinics, general hospitals (medical and surgical), etc.
Pharmaceutical and medicine companies
What Is It Like to be a Registered Nurse?
Like most other healthcare providers, People view Registered Nurses as people with thick skin. However, becoming an RN is no mean feat; it takes willpower, dedication, and patience.
As a Registered Nurse, you are the point of call for patients. It is sometimes a life-and-death situation. You may have to carry out an initial patient assessment and identify vital signs. The shifts are also demanding. With the US health system more demanding than ever, you can have up to three or four 12-hour shifts a week.
In addition, Registered Nurses have tough skin because they are faced with life/death situations almost every day.
How Much do Registered Nurses Make?
On average, a Registered Nurse has an annual salary of between $60,000 and $124,000, according to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021).
You can get a detailed review of salaries for RNs with their hourly rate in a clear format here.
Recommended Reading - How Much Do (Registered Nurses) RNs make?
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Career as a Registered Nurse
As a Registered Nurse, there are both advantages and disadvantages attached. True, the Nursing profession is noble, with the RN standing above. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges involved.
Advantages of Choosing a Career as a Registered Nurse
Job Security - With the increased human population, the demand for more qualified nurses will go up. Job security is high as there will be over 800,000 job vacancies in the US health sector by the year 2030.
Generous Patients - As you advance in your career, you may meet privileged patients who will show kindness to you. It also makes you appreciate the gift of humanity and good life.
Chance to Increase Wages - With your increased years of experience as an RN, the pay can increase significantly. This move to being an RN also adds to the overtime allowance you can receive when you cover extra shifts.
Career Progression - Being an RN does not mean the end. You can advance your career and decide based on a specific field. There are over 200 fields to select. With Nursing, there is always a new field to learn.
Diverse Working Units - as an RN, there are many facilities to practice your profession. You can work in a hospital, prison, pharmaceutical company, nursing home, or even become a scholar at a university or college. There are different departments and wards within the hospital. So, if you prefer the fast, adrenaline action, the ER can offer that experience. But, on the other end of the scale, you can take care of one patient for a long time being an ICU nurse.
Disadvantages of Choosing a Career as a Registered Nurse
Stress - Being a Registered Nurse comes with lots of emotional and physical stress. You need to be tough when handling terrible cases or delivering bad news to the family. When working, you will be on your feet all day, moving from one bed to another. Your shifts will be extensive too, usually around 12 hours.
Exposure to Hazards - being the first provider that comes in contact with a patient, you will experience many health hazards. You could contract diseases while discharging your duties. A splash of injury from an infected patient could become bad for you.
No Break - a Registered Nurse's schedule does not include a public holiday. While others may be enjoying the festivities, you will be on call. Your employer can also call you into Work on emergency cases.
Undervaluation - The patient's family may become impatient with you, especially as you try to discharge your duties. You could become a target for angry patients just because you’re readily available and could be a soft target.
Nursing Program Degree - You must undergo an intensive nursing degree program and sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) before you can practice. If you can't survive the rigors of studying, being an RN is not for you.
Nursing Programs are Expensive - The cost of becoming an RN varies. A bachelor of science in nursing costs between $50,000-$100,000. However, an associate degree costs between $30,000-$40,000 to earn it. It is expensive to study to become an RN, no matter the type of course.
Different Requirements for Different States - currently, there is no standard for RN licensing in the US. Suppose you want to relocate to any other form. In that case, you will have to undergo an additional procedure to become eligible to practice in that state. All states have their requirements for licensing.
Recommended Reading - How Much Is Nursing School In The USA?
How to Become a Registered Nurse?
We have written a more concise and simple outline to help you start your career as a licensed, Registered Nurse. Follow our in-depth guide to becoming an RN here.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Registered Nurse?
There is no specific answer to knowing how long it takes to become a Registered Nurse. It depends on your level of commitment and dedication to studying and applying to positions.
We have prepared a detailed overview of the general time it takes for one to become an RN.
Are There Any Registered Nurses Working From Home Jobs?
A Registered Nurse may always be practicing. However, with the increased dependence on technology, times are changing. There is a particular field for RN where they can work from home called Telemedicine.
Tele-medicine allows RN to work directly from home and yet provide services for their patients. In addition, since they can prescribe medication, they can offer advice on various illnesses anywhere.