Find Local or Online
Nursing Programs

Select a program:

Select your state:


Follow NurseGroups on Pinterest

What Does a Registered Nurse do?

What does a registered nurse do? The complete answer to this question could potentially fill up an entire book. Nurses are responsible for a wide variety of treatment and care and are expected to interact with one another, patients, doctors and specialists. In addition to the most common tasks assigned to a registered nurse, those who choose to get certified in one of the many specialties that are available have an even greater list of responsibilities assigned to them. The most basic explanation regarding the duties a registered nurse would be that they are responsible for treating and educating the patients that are under their care.

One of the most important aspects of being a registered nurse is that of educating their patients. This can involve everything from teaching patients how to properly take their medications to advising them on proper diet and exercise. They also provide a wealth of information when it comes to helping patients find even more info regarding the illness or disease that they are dealing with. A registered nurse may also be responsible for developing a plan to help their patients aside from what a physician has already prescribed.

A registered nurse who works in a specific part of a hospital or clinic may also have additional duties. For example, a nurse who works in an emergency room must have a fairly broad skill set since there is no way to predict what will be coming through the emergency room doors next. Some registered nurses receive specialized training in certain departments such as oncology or pediatric care. Although specialties require a nurse to get more education it can also lead to a higher wage and greater job security. Because they are often the face that a patient sees more often than a physician, registered nurses are expected to have a wide range of skills.

A registered nurse who works at a private doctor's office or in a smaller clinic may find that she has fewer duties assigned to her. Although the responsibilities of these nurses may be fewer, they also generally make a lower wage than those that are employed by hospitals. The number of staff that is employed also plays a part in determining exactly what a registered nurse does. For example, a nurse that works in an understaffed facility may find that he or she is responsible for more duties that if they had more qualified individuals working alongside them.