Meet Our Expert
Registered Nurses (RNs) power the healthcare system, ensuring the intricacies involved in patient care flow smoothly. Without a strong workforce of RNs, the daily operations of healthcare would quickly grind to a halt. As healthcare demands shift from acute care to the management of chronic illness, the need for RNs is growing rapidly. The information here serves to introduce this rewarding and essential career.
Meet a Registered Nurse
What Does an RN Do?
A registered nurse is an individual who has graduated from either an ADN or BSN program and passed the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination). RN’s work in a variety of settings and their daily activities will vary depending on their specific work environment. However, there are some skills and situations that will be applicable to all RNs, regardless of their specific job.
Potential Work Settings
- Physician’s Office
- Home Healthcare
- Nursing Care
- Correctional Facilities
Detailed and Organized
When handling numerous patients, you need to make sure you know exactly where all your supplies and equipment are before you need them. Having an established system of organization in place will make things like changing an IV become quick and easy.
Spiritual and emotional care can be just as critical to a patient’s recovery as is the physical care. Understanding and caring for your patients involves more than just going through the motions, you need to be able to relate to their experiences.
Mental and Physical Strength
Working long shifts while confronted with traumatic, tragic and difficult emergencies can lead many nurses to mental and physical breakdowns. A healthy nurse needs to learn to compartmentalize stress, leaving it at the workplace so time spent at home can focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Patient and Resilient
Often times RNs may be faced with extreme circumstances, treating patients with little to no chance of survival while the family looks on. In these circumstances they must have the patience to understand that families may be act irrationally and the resilience to keep working in face of little hope.
70.5% of nurses claim the effects of stress are among their top three health and safety concerns. Stress can dramatically affect mental and physical well being, and the unpredictable nature of healthcare work creates ripe circumstances for stress to run rampant. If a nurse is to be effective, they must be able to effectively manage stress.
RNs are often the people spending the most time with the patients, and in that role is critical that they are able to notice the small cues a patient gives that can indicate an improvement or decline in their situation. Things as small as a change in tone of voice, skin color or sweating can be early signals that something needs to be done.
Critical Thinking and Judgement
To effectively handle large patient loads, nurses need to be able to quickly make sound judgements. This skill comes with years of experience, but being able to critically discern serious ailments from minor and identify when a patient needs extra attention is essential to being a good caregiver.
Caring for patients can be volatile and tumultuous, involving quick decisions that can have far-reaching consequences. Nurses must be able to be accountable for their actions and hold themselves responsible for decisions made in the heat of the moment. This necessary not only for the hospital, but also so the nurse can be confident they did everything to best of their ability.
Effective communication ensures that care is administered properly. For example, when nurses switch shifts if they do not adequately relay the details of what happened with a patient, such as an allergic reaction or a fall, they risk harming their patient’s health.
Registered Nurse Salary Information and Job Outlook
How Much Do Registered Nurses Make?$46,390+$59,370+$72,350+$85,320+
- Median Hourly Wage: $26.00
- Mean Salary: $57,000
Nurses Are in Demand
- 712,000 New Jobs
- 495,500 Replacement Jobs
- 10.2 Million by 2020
- 26% More Nursing Jobs Expected to Be Created between 2010 and 2020
Source: Data taken from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed: December 2015.
Registered Nurse Resources
NCLEX-RN Resources for Registered Nurses
Online Registered Nursing Programs
In alphabetical order, here is a list of accredited online registered nursing programs for your review. Because you can become a registered nurse with either an ADN or BSN, we’ve provided online program examples for both paths.
Before enrolling, please be sure to double-check that the program is accredited, offered online during your period of study, and all eligibility and licensing requirements meet your situation.
Online ADN Programs
- Allegany College of Maryland LPN-RN Online program
- Hutchinson Community College Online Associate Degree in Nursing Program (First Online Program of its type in Kansas)
- North Central State College Online Option Associate Degree Nursing (RN)
- Northwestern Michigan College Online Traditional ADN Program (Full-Time Students)
- Pratt Community College Blended/Online Associate Degree Nursing Program (Paramedic/LPN to RN)
Online BSN Programs
If you are an accredited, not-for-profit institution that offers an online ADN or BSN program and that isn’t listed, please contact us with details about your program, a link to your program page and proof of accreditation.
Registered Nursing Programs
If you notice any errors in the database below or are a college or university that is not represented here, please contact us. We will get on it immediately!