Registered Nurse

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

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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

  • Hospital
  • Physician’s Office
  • Home Healthcare
  • Nursing Care
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Schools
  • Clinics
  • Military

Skills

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.

Compassionate

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.

Stress Management

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.

Observant

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.

Responsible

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.

Communicative

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+
Registered Nurse: Average Salary by State This map presents average annual salary for the occupation Registered Nurse in each state in the U.S. Average Annual Salary in HI: $96,990 HI Average Annual Salary in AK: $87,510 AK Average Annual Salary in FL: $64,890 FL Average Annual Salary in NH: $70,040 NH Average Annual Salary in MI: $69,120 MI Average Annual Salary in VT: $69,560 VT Average Annual Salary in ME: $65,890 ME Average Annual Salary in RI: $76,650 RI Average Annual Salary in NY: $83,450 NY Average Annual Salary in PA: $69,820 PA Average Annual Salary in NJ: $82,010 NJ Average Annual Salary in DE: $73,180 DE Average Annual Salary in MD: $75,250 MD Average Annual Salary in VA: $67,990 VA Average Annual Salary in WV: $60,380 WV Average Annual Salary in OH: $65,500 OH Average Annual Salary in IN: $62,450 IN Average Annual Salary in IL: $72,090 IL Average Annual Salary in CT: $80,200 CT Average Annual Salary in WI: $69,200 WI Average Annual Salary in NC: $62,560 NC Average Annual Salary in MA: $89,330 MA Average Annual Salary in TN: $60,050 TN Average Annual Salary in AR: $58,810 AR Average Annual Salary in MO: $63,300 MO Average Annual Salary in GA: $66,750 GA Average Annual Salary in SC: $63,630 SC Average Annual Salary in KY: $61,530 KY Average Annual Salary in AL: $57,890 AL Average Annual Salary in LA: $63,560 LA Average Annual Salary in MS: $57,700 MS Average Annual Salary in IA: $57,930 IA Average Annual Salary in MN: $77,540 MN Average Annual Salary in OK: $61,640 OK Average Annual Salary in TX: $72,070 TX Average Annual Salary in NM: $69,840 NM Average Annual Salary in KS: $59,940 KS Average Annual Salary in NE: $62,210 NE Average Annual Salary in SD: $57,010 SD Average Annual Salary in ND: $63,140 ND Average Annual Salary in WY: $64,900 WY Average Annual Salary in MT: $66,280 MT Average Annual Salary in CO: $72,570 CO Average Annual Salary in ID: $64,520 ID Average Annual Salary in UT: $63,050 UT Average Annual Salary in AZ: $75,110 AZ Average Annual Salary in NV: $84,980 NV Average Annual Salary in OR: $88,770 OR Average Annual Salary in WA: $79,810 WA Average Annual Salary in CA: $102,700 CA

  • Median Hourly Wage: $35.36
  • Salary: $73,550

Source: Data taken from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed: July 2018.

Employment of RNs

Industries With the Highest Levels of Employment for RNs

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,685,820 30.64 $75,820
Offices of Physicians 196,040 7.69 $66,890
Home Health Care Services 179,310 12.84 $70,230
Nursing Care Facilities 155,450 9.59 $65,710
Outpatient Care Centers 132,070 15.00 $75,680
Source: BLS, 2017

Industries With the Highest Concentration of Employment for RNs

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,685,820 30.64 $75,820
Specialty (Except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals) 62,310 23.98 $77,290
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 39,100 16.33 $71,290
Outpatient Care Centers 132,070 15.00 $75,680
Home Health Care Services 179,310 12.84 $70,230
Source: BLS, 2017

Registered Nurse Resources

Massive Open Online Courses 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

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!

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