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What is a Registered Nurse?
Registered nurses (RN) can be found working in many different healthcare settings. As there is a vast amount of medical care settings, there is also a great deal of specialization available for the Registered Nursing career. RNs often supervise the work of other licensed practical nurses and aides in order to ensure the best possible care. Ultimately, registered nurses perform many different tasks and work with a variety of patient populations. As you'll learn by reading through this article, a career as a registered nurse can be extremely rewarding both financially and personally.
Financially speaking, there is quite a lot of variation in the amount of pay RNs receive. The lowest 10 percent earn $44,970 up to $96,630 for the highest earners. The average salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $69,110. Keep in mind salaries vary based on many factors like location and experience. You should check to see what the average salary is in your state if you are interested in becoming a registered nurse.
Registered nurses are fairly high on the "nursing career path", and becoming a registered nurse represents a high degree of achievement. Many RNs begin their careers as a CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) or another type of entry-level medical professional, and even beyond the registered nursing stage, many options are available for career advancement, which we will explore further along in this article.
Ultimately, the mission of every RN is to use his or her knowledge to promote healthy lifestyles, give information to mitigate illness, and to help those patients that suffer from illness. A great deal of planning and assessing is involved in the daily work of a registered nurse in order to meet these goals. Your academic program will teach you to think critically and subjectively in order to help you achieve this aspect.
RNs also act as advocates for patients and their families. They use their breadth of knowledge to support healthy living in families and individuals. Their scope of work is unique to their profession and is also very exciting.
You will find an RN working with patients directly in a medical setting, doing case management, leading multifaceted nursing systems, conducting research, and also educating future RNs. All of this is often done while practicing in many different types of medical facilities.
RNs have the option to specialize. Each specialization area has its own requirements for training and accreditation. Some of these specialties include addiction, critical care, hospice, women's health, neonatal, rehabilitation, nephrology, emergency, cardiovascular, psychiatric, nurse education and more.
For example, you could become a registered nurse specializing in cardiovascular medicine. Your daily work would involve supporting a physician who also specializes in cardiovascular care. Every RN has a strong background in educational and practical training, but your career path as an RN will be the ultimate training ground for your practice of medicine.
Among all of these medical specialties, there are 2.7 million nurses working in medical environments today. Most work in hospitals, and the rest work in offices of physicians, nursing homes, patients' homes, clinics, and government and educational establishments.
There are also travel nurses that go where nurses are in great demand but limited supply. Travel nurses are often very well paid, though the work can be demanding and tiring. As a travel nurse, you travel throughout the United States and even abroad. While many find the idea enticing, not all qualified RNs are also a good fit to become travel nurses. However, the career option is there for the right personality type.
The RN's role in day-to-day work is a very physical one. You must be able to stand, walk, bend, and lift. As an RN, you work in close daily proximity to many infectious illnesses. It's critical that all RNs are sure to follow the strict guidelines set forth for working in these potentially hazardous environments.
The nursing field, like the entire medical field, is changing. RNs' roles are growing and their jobs are becoming more difficult, because much of the patient care is leaving the hospital setting for outpatient facilities and primary care environments. Registered nurses are changing from being caregivers on the bedside to being an extraordinarily important aspect of a complex medical group.
Registered nurses (RNs) do many different kinds of jobs. Some of them include watching patient behavior and recording any changes. It is very important to keep a close eye on all things that happen to your patients. RNs also consult with the doctors, physicians, and all of the other professionals in the healthcare team.
Another important job given to RNs is to determine the treatment plan for each patient and then implement the plan. An RN must be able to use ever-changing medical technology. RNs also take a supervisory role, over licensed practice Nnrses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs). RNs also perform different kinds of tests that diagnose illnesses, and give patients their various treatments and medications.
RNs work in emergency settings as well. In these cases, they treat heart attacks, burns, and strokes. The career of an RN is not for the faint of heart.
Basically, RNs monitor all aspects of patient health. This includes physical activity and diet. RNs promote wellness in everyday life and try to teach these skills to patients while they undergo treatment.
RNs are part of a team, and in order for that team to be successful, RNs do what needs to be done for the patient. The RN is often in charge of this team and has to maintain a high degree of professionalism and integrity. There are many problems that will need to be solved at the team level.
An RN is an advocate for the patient. This means that they keep all personal information confidential and only discuss it on a "need to know" basis. Patient privacy and confidentiality is a very important part of medical operations. Only ethically responsible RNs can be trusted with this grave responsibility.
RNs work with families to ensure that everyone understands the illness of the patient and how the patient should be treated. Identifying this treatment plan is essential in order for the patient's health to be restored. RNs work hard to ensure that patients and their families understand their role in the treatment plan of every patient.
RNs are also in charge of watching over the technological equipment. They are expected to be versed in the instructions from the manufacturer and troubleshooting techniques. They also must order repair work when necessary, manage inventories, and stay informed about new and changing technologies.
As an RN, you will often work under the supervision of a variety of physicians and medical professionals. All of these supervising physicians will have their own approach to medical care and their own philosophies. It's important that RNs are flexible in the workplace and understand how to respond to and simultaneously support a wide variety of medical staffers.
The outlook for registered nurses (RNs) in the future is very positive. Nursing and the entire medical field is growing rapidly, and there is a great need for new staff. Much of this need comes from the growing and aging Baby Boomer population. Rising rates of obesity and diabetes are also an important factor impacting the medical world. People are also living longer lives and will need longer periods of medical care during old age than ever before.
If you take your education seriously, you will not have a problem finding a job as an RN. By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that the field of nursing and is supposed to grow by 26 percent. This growth is significantly faster than most other professions. Those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will enjoy the greatest opportunities. You will also find that most employers these days require RNs to have a BSN or at least require you to get one within a certain timeframe of being hired. Often employers will even pay for all or part of your additional educational requirements.
Here are some further details on the job outlook for registered nurses. As an example, by the time recent BSN nursing graduates finished their program, 59 percent of them had serious job offers. This number compares favorably to 29.3 percent with serious job offers in other professions. Furthermore, within just four to six months (only several months more), a full 89 percent of graduates had received a job offer. These are very encouraging statistics for anyone interested in pursuing a career with a strong employment outlook.
Many hospitals are also in financial trouble, and they discharge patients earlier than they should due to their financial struggles. Thus, more patients are being admitted to long-term care facilities, going to outpatient clinics, and also using home-health nurses. Many RN jobs of the future will be in these types of centers.
In addition, more procedures are being done directly in the physician's office these days because of evolving technology. As a result, there will be more jobs available in this kind of setting than ever before.
The amount of jobs that will be created between 2012 and 2022 is an increase of 562,800, bringing the total RN workforce to about 3.2 million. Additionally, 525,000 nurses will be necessary to supplement the RNs that choose not to stay in the field. This brings the total amount of new jobs to over 1 million.
Still, the RN field is very competitive. Newly minted registered nurses will have to work very hard to get the best jobs and should learn how to market and promote themselves effectively. Individual job prospects will vary based on where you live, where you graduate, and what experience you have. Places like New England and the West Coast may be more difficult regions for new RNs to find a job. The south, on the other hand, has a much greater job outlook. Being geographically flexible can go a long way towards improving your overall job prospects and RN career outlook.
Also, hospitals are becoming more selective about who they hire. You will have to be a great RN in order to get a hospital job. Customer experience is huge these days, and that includes patients in hospitals. RNs are there for the patient and to make their experience as comfortable as possible. Program Info
Education is a critical factor in your registered nursing career path. It's important to find a program that suits your needs, style of learning, tastes, and budget. Keep in mind that while you technically only need to get an associate's degree to become a registered nurse (RN), the new standard is quickly becoming the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN degree). To improve your future career options, a master's degree is an obvious way to make your CV more competitive.
Ultimately, the most important thing you will have to do after your education is sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. This is the examination that gives you a license to be an RN. The goal of your educational program is to prepare you enough to pass this exam.
The fastest way to become an RN is indeed through the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN). Though you may have more trouble finding a job than your BSN counterparts, jobs will still be open to you at the entry-level that will give you very good experience.
While ADN students are required to take course in nursing, anatomy, and the sciences.
When you are done with your ADN and are working as an RN, you will have the opportunity to do an RN-to-BSN program. These types of programs are very popular. They allow for an easier transition from an ADN to a BSN.
The BSN can be earned traditionally in about four years. You will have to take many different classes besides nursing such as arts and sciences courses.
If you already have your Bachelor's degree in another field, consider an accelerated BSN. This type of degree transfers your existing credits into the BSN degree and usually only takes one and a half years.
The BSN degree will provide much more in depth knowledge into the career of an RN. It will include clinical time as well as the theory behind nursing. You can typically attend any kind of nursing program part-time if this is necessary for you.
Also if you already have your bachelor's degree in another field, many schools offer an Entry-Level Master's of Science in Nursing (EL-MSN) program. This program is for people with a bachelor's in another field with no nursing experience.
Be sure your program offered through an accredited school. The main accreditation organizations for nursing are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The duration of the time you spend training depends on which of these types of programs you choose to undertake. You have a lot of options, and it is a good idea to research each one thoroughly.
Keep in mind there are bridge programs available other than the ADN to BSN degree. These include RN to MSN, LPN to RN, LVN to RN, MA to RN, and paramedic to RN bridge program. Bridge programs add a lot of flexibility to your education path towards becoming a registered nurse.
RN School Costs and Other Considerations
Registered nurse (RN) educational programs vary in cost, depending on the type of program you choose to undertake. The Associate's Degree in Nursing is the most affordable simply because it is only a two-year degree. Still, while cost might seem like the only factor, RNs with the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) are more attractive to employers. They generally command higher RN salaries as well.
The cost for the average tuition at a private, four-year school is $31,231. As for public institutions, the average cost is $9,139 per year for in-state and $22,958 a year for out-of-state. The cost for an average year at a two-year community college is $2,713.
These numbers are just for tuition only, and they are only averages. You will also need funds for living expenses, books, uniforms and medical equipment. Medical equipment could cost upward of $300 per year, and books will costs around $1,000 to $3,000 per year. It is also possible there will be a separate affiliation expense with the medical facility with which the school is partnered. Insurance could also run $1,200 to $1,600 per year.
Keep in mind, the sticker cost of the school is often not what you pay. Contact the financial aid office at your school of choice to discuss what your options are for obtaining grants, work-study programs, scholarships, and loans. Remember, if given a grant or scholarship, you will likely have to maintain a certain GPA. To determine what financial aid you are eligible for, the school will look at family financial background information as well as your academic record.
Another thing you will have to pay for is the NCLEX-RN exam. Depending on where you live, this test could cost anywhere from $200 to $350. All of these costs are unavoidable.
Many people choose to take out loans for their studies as an RN. Loans can be a great means to achieve a goal, but don't forget the debt stays with you for many years. However, it's important to consider that these loans will allow you to earn a higher salary than you would likely make without a degree.
Some people choose to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) before becoming an RN. This is a great way to get your foot in the door at a hospital or clinic, garner great experience, and be seen as a more impressive candidate for many colleges. These types of programs don't take long to train for and don't cost very much either.
The costs for being an RN certainly do add up, but if you are determined and work hard, you will be able to make it happen. A quality education is expensive, and yet, it is also priceless. You'll want to get the best education for your money, so shop around before committing to a school or program.